Recipe: Quick and easy Thai green curry

Given the rich, bold and vibrant flavors you’ll find in this dish, you’ll be convinced you need to labor for hours in the kitchen. And if you want, you certainly can, grinding your own spices and using mortar and pestle to mush fresh lemongrass into a pulp. Most nights though – I’ve got an hour or less to make dinner – simple is the name of the game. Which is where this versatile and quick recipe steps in. This is a base recipe that works with a variety of proteins and veggies; that means it works great when you have a fridge full of random ingredients you want to try and use up.

You can cook your protein in the sauce, add it part cooked to finish in the sauce, or cook separately and add at the end. I’ll let you use your best judgement there yourself. My favorites are chicken, meaty white fish or tofu. The favorite veggie mix in our home is frozen peas, chopped zucchini, tinned bamboo shoots and fresh sliced red bell pepper. Feel free to use what you have on hand or like the most – everything from green beans to carrots to baby corn works great. I’d shy away from anything too watery like onions that could dilute the sauce or get mushy is all.

Green curry with Mae Ploy paste and Hodo tofu puffs

Green curry with Mae Ploy paste and Hodo tofu puffs

A few notes on the ingredients – there’s no need to be intimidated here – this is as easy as can be. You’ll find the Mae Ploy Thai green curry paste in many a major US grocery store, you needn’t trek. Fish sauce too is available at all major US grocery stores these days, if you see Red Boat at yours, that’s a great brand to snag.

For basil, regular sweet basil is fine; if you have access to the bolder Thai basil, that’s a bonus but not essential. The only tricky item on the list are the kaffir lime leaves – you’ll need access to a good Asian grocery store for these – if you can’t find them, just leave them out, no biggie.

Lastly – this is quite a spicy curry. If you need to temper the flames, you can either remove a tablespoon of curry paste or add more coconut milk or water depending on your own preference. If you do add more liquids, add them at step five.

Quick and easy Thai green curry
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins

This simple recipe for Thai green curry is quick enough for a week night dinner and packed with delicious and vibrant flavors.  

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
  • 2 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves torn into thirds
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • handful fresh basil
  1. Sometimes coconut milk solids and liquids can separate.  Shake can of coconut milk to ensure well mixed, open and give a stir as well just in case.  Add 1/3 of can to pan and heat over high heat.

  2. When coconut milk starts to bubble add green curry paste.  Cook over high heat, stirring well till ingredients well mix.  

  3. Add another 1/3 can of coconut milk, stir to mix well, lower heat to medium.  Continue cooking for 8-12 minutes until the oil begins to separate.

  4. Add lime leaves, cooking for one minute while stirring.

  5. Add final 1/3 can of milk, cup of water, fish sauce and sugar.  Mix well.  

  6. Add preferred veggies and cook over medium-low heat to required level of softness.

  7. Before serving add torn basil leaves to sauce, mix well and cook for a minute or two

  8. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and crushed peanuts.

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