The ingredients


This has to be one of the quickest, most delicious, most versatile ways of cooking you are likely to find anywhere. If you are already a devotee of Thai cooking this will not be news to you. Subtle flavours, as rich as you want to make it, either using, fish, chicken, pork or beef, or go the whole hog and make a vegan or vegetarian version. There is no end to what you can do with the simple technique. We have made it two ways—with tuna and with chicken and it is gorgeous.  Try them and do not be afraid to experiment. Serve with basmati rice. The difference between Thai red and green curry is basically that the red is made with 20 red chilies and the green has added basil, coriander, and lime leaves. The heat factor depends on how much of the paste you use. Practice makes perfect. Be sure you use full fat coconut milk, reduced does not have the oomph you are looking for.

Waiting for the chicken


Can you smell it–fabulous!

The tuna version cooking–fresh tuna!!!

Thai Red Curry (Chicken)


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced, light and dark green parts divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper deseeded and diced or done in the food processor
  • 2-3cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 can coconut milk (unsweetened and full fat – not reduced fat or light)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce – see notes below
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar – see notes below
  • 400-500g skinless boneless free range chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 100-150g sugar snap peas or 200g cooked sweet potato cut into cubes.


  1. Peel the ginger and garlic and add to a food processor together with the jalapeño pepper and a tablespoon of oil and blend till paste.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large non-stick pan. Add the light scallions, curry paste and blended paste and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown.
  3. Add the coconut milk, whisk together. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened, a few minutes. Add the chicken and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally to promote even cooking, until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. (Do not let the sauce boil; the idea is to cook the chicken gently so that it is tender.) Stir in the lime juice, dark scallion greens, and cilantro.
  4. Add the sugar snap peas in the last 5 minutes of the cook (or sweet potato)
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning – do not use salt and pepper – use more lime, fish sauce if it needs salt or brown sugar to adjust if necessary.
  6. Serve with basmati or jasmine rice and some fresh cilantro as garnish.
  7. Note: As always, take care when working with jalapeño peppers. If you touch the seeds or ribs, be sure to wash your hands well and avoid touching your eyes = be warned.
  8. Note: It’s important to wait until you’re ready to eat to cook the chicken. If you want to get a head start, prepare the sauce up until the point when the chicken is added. Take it off the heat and then poach the chicken right before serving. If the chicken sits in the hot curry sauce for too long before serving, it can overcook and be tough (although I have not experienced this).