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Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe (Kaeng Phet)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011 | Labels: , , |

Here's a spicy start to 2011! Today's feature is my version of one of Thailand's myriad of famous curry dishes, red curry.  I chose chicken as my protein of the day but feel free to substitute with other proteins of your choice, including seafood as well.  I like to have vegetables in my curries and today's dish includes eggplants or otherwise known as brinjal and green beans.  The soft texture of eggplants complement the more toothsome texture of the green beans extremely well and with the addition of vegetables, you get both your vegetables and protein in one delicious dish.


Aromatic lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves are a must in Thai curries - the unique fragrance imparted is essential to a yummy Thai curry dish much like how curry leaves are essential to a lot of Malaysian curry dishes.  You can also opt to use Thai sweet basil instead of kaffir lime leaves according to your preference although I prefer the former.  Thai red curry is typically the strongest of Thai curries while green curry is usually considered the mildest curry.  With the easy availability of tasty curry pastes nowadays, a delicious pot of curry is almost effortless and is extremely quick to prepare with some caveats of course.  One, I prefer fresh pastes to tinned ones and also it is vital to add some simple ingredients to your pastes i.e. garlic, shallots, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves for added aroma.  Fish sauce provides the final touch and here you have it, an easy and speedy yet guest-worthy curry dish!



6 chicken drumsticks, sliced (or use chicken breast according to your preference)
2 shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, the bottom parts smashed with the back of a heavy knife
4-6 kaffir lime leaves, torn slightly (to impart fragrance)
3 small sized Chinese eggplants
1 cup worth of green beans, sliced to 2 inch pieces
1 cup coconut milk (I used a canned and low fat version)
1/4 cup of water
3-4 tbsps red curry paste
Fish sauce, to taste


Firstly heat up 2 tbsps of cooking oil in a pan. Once hot, turn heat to low and saute the garlic and shallots on until fragrant.  Add the lemongrass and lime leaves.  Fry till aromatic.  Add the curry paste and stir around quickly.  The air should smell spicy by now!

Add in the cut chicken pieces and turn heat higher.  Pour in the coconut milk and turn heat to high.  Bring to a boil, then add the eggplants and green beans.  Add the water.  Bring to a boil again.  Turn heat to medium low and cover allowing to simmer for at least 20 minutes, checking occasionally.  After 20 minutes, remove the cover and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes.  Make sure the chicken is cooked.  Finally, add the fish sauce to taste.  As fish sauce is already salty, it is not necessary to add salt or soy sauce.  Serve hot with steamed rice.



Three-Cookies said...

Welcome back! Unusual to see eggplant in a chicken red curry dish but I presume it would go well. I might try it one day, it has gotten me curious:)

tigerfish said...

Looks like green curry but green or red, I enjoy them very much.

noobcook said...

I adore the aroma of kaffir lime and lemongrass... your curry must be really fragrant :)

Charenn29 said...

mouthwatering! i really love the pictures, makes me hungry..

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