thai green curry with basil


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Servs: 4   Prep:   Cook:

I had a chicken breast sitting in the fridge which had to be used, and my basil plants are looking healthy, so I decided to make a Thai-style green curry (as always, my recipes are authentically-based, but not truly authentic because I can’t resist fiddling with things).

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  • add   skinless boneless chicken breasts or 4 thighs, cut into pieces
  • add   Oil for frying (use oil with a neutral flavor and high smoke point, such as safflower)
  • add   1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • add   1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • add   1/4 tsp ground Ceylon (”true”) cinnamon (you can use cassia if you don’t have any)
  • add   1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • add   pinch of turmeric
  • add   salt to taste
  • add   pepper to taste
  • add   1 tsp lemongrass paste or finely chopped fresh lemongrass
  • add   1 tsp Thai green curry paste (Mae Ploy is very good, but I use Thai Kitchen’s since I don’t cook it often)*
  • add   6 cloves garlic, minced
  • add   1.5 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • add   1/2 - 1 can coconut milk, depending on how much chicken you have and how watery you want the sauce
  • add   Fish sauce to taste
  • add   Juice of one lime (~2 tbl)
  • add   A few leaves of fresh basil (preferably Thai basil)


  1. Mix together coriander, cloves, Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, salt, pepper, lemongrass paste, and green curry paste in a bowl large enough for the chicken.
  2. Cut the chicken into bite sizes chunks and add to bowl with spice paste, mushing the paste around on the chicken (yes, this requires touching the raw chicken).
  3. Heat a little oil in a wok. Fry the ginger and garlic on medium heat until fragrant but not brown.
  4. Add the chicken and brown.
  5. Add coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and coconut milk somewhat reduced.
  6. Add a dash or two of fish sauce (1-3 tbl) and the lime juice. Add the basil and cook another minute or two.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
  8. Authentic Thai curry paste brands like Mae Ploy have shrimp paste in them. Thai Kitchen’s pastes are vegan, if that’s a concern. On that note, if you don’t eat fish sauce, you could substitute a little soy sauce, or just leave it out.

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