Thai Red Curry Chicken

A Thai Red Curry Chicken is one of those dishes that work well any time of the year - in summer it's a fresh and light flavour that isn't too spice forward to have you sweating like a pig in heat and in winter, it's a creamy, soul rejuvenating comfort food that can warm even the most frigid of hearts. This Thai chicken curry with coconut milk has a wonderful colour and an even more wonderful flavour. It's a must for any fan of South East Asian food.

The best thai red curry recipe

The best curry recipes for me are the most authentic recipes. I do use shop bought pastes from time to time, but nothing compares to a homemade curry paste. Making at home lets you control the flavour and spice, if you like it fragrant add more lemongrass and galangal, if you like it HOT, then more chilli. I guess there's no such thing as a truly authentic thai red curry recipe - it changes from house to house, but the key foundations are all the same, just the measurements change.

If I'm in the mood for spice, but not in the mood for SPICE, this is my go-to. The red curry typically has less attitude that it's green curry counterpart, so it's the perfect path to a more mellow sauce.

I use a stick blender these days to make a paste - gone is the wide-eyed pestle and mortar enthusiasm of the early 2000s. I got laaaaazy - I like my gadgets now so am all about the stick blender! Im sure there would be many a wagging finger in Thailand, but that's my reality!

One note of caution about using a hand blender with chillies - Beware of splattering! I experienced a bit of paste 'backdraft' directly on my eyeball one time - I spent a good 20 minutes with my face in kitchen sink full of water - blinking like a frantic idiot. Consider that a friendly warning.

Three essential thai curry pastes

If you're a fan of Thai food, you're most likely aware of the three most common curry colours. Reg, Green & Yellow - a rainbow of flavour and spice! See for yourself how to create at home these cornerstone curry pastes. Once you master the paste, you can create a myriad of meat, seafood, vegetarian and vegan curries and stir-fry dishes at the drop of a hat. Which colour Thai curry paste is YOUR favourite?

Thai Red Curry Paste (recipe below), Thai Green Curry Paste or Thai Yellow Curry Paste?

More amazing Thai curry recipes

Thailand doesn't just stop with these three curries, try my fantastically flavoursome Panang Chicken Curry or my fragrant Beef Massaman Curry too. Thank you Thailand!

How to make my Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry Chicken
Thai Red Curry Chicken
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course:Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 399kcal


For the paste

  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only, finely sliced)
  • 5 dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp minced galangal or ginger
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 4 stems of fresh coriander (washed and chopped - keep the leaves for garnish)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 shallots (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp paprika

For the curry

  • 1 cooked chicken breast (cut into small pieces)
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 200g fresh mixed veg (broccoli, carrot, mini corn etc)
  • 1 400g can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


To make the paste

  • In a food processor, or using a pestle & mortar, blend the paste ingredients together to form a smooth paste. If you're using a pestle & mortar, add each fresh item separately in the order they're listed then stir in the powdered items. It's hard work, but no pain no gain etc.

To make the curry

  • Heat the oil in a wok, and over a medium heat and when hot, add the curry paste. Sizzle for 30 seconds, stirring to avoid sticking before adding 1/2 the coconut milk.
  • Let this bubble for 5 minuets to reduce, stirring regularly.
  • Add the remaining coconut milk, salt, fish sauce and sugar and stir well.
  • Tip in the vegetables and simmer for 2-3 minutes until just soft before adding the cooked chicken. Stir and remove from heat.
  • Squeeze over lime juice and test for salt/fish sauce - adjust as you see fit! I always serve mine with plenty of jasmine rice.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 399kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 18gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 1383mgPotassium: 518mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2024IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 5mg
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