50: Laura’s Thai Red Curry Chicken

Thai Red Curry w/ Chicken Photo: © Laura Encarnacion, 2012

Laura, a friend of mine at work brought this dish to a potluck and I fell in love with it.

A dead ringer for the Thai Red Curry that you’d find at a restaurant, this has a nice kick to it, but fairly mild. You can add a Thai chili or sliced jalapeño if you need more heat.

The coconut milk makes it creamy without the oil that usually separates out when you use dairy-based cream. The components are chicken (optional: this could be wonderful with just veggies), curry paste, coconut milk, and vegetables. I like to make a nice pot of rice to accompany it.

Included is her recipe, in her own words, and I’ve put my modifications/conversions in green.  (not that the recipe needed changing, I merely adjusted it to suit our home inventory…)

This brand is the best! Photo: © Laura Encarnacion, 2012

50: Laura’s Thai Red Curry Chicken

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • Maesri brand (trust me on this brand. Definitely go for crazy brand names you can’t pronounce) red curry paste (dried red chiles, garlic, shallots, salt, lemon grass, sugar, kaffir lime, galangal, coriander seeds, cumin and cardamom if you feel like smashing up your own paste). Can be purchased at various asian groceries.
  • 2, 13 oz. cans Coconut milk (I prefer Chaokoh)
  • *** basic rule is 2 cans of coconut milk per 1 can of curry paste ***
  • 2-3  lbs of chicken thigh (can use any meat you like, but I prefer chicken thigh) cut into 1 inch thick strips. I used 1-2 lbs chicken breast, sliced into thin strips (like 1/4″ thin)
  • 3 large red bell peppers, sliced into thin strips I used 1 large bell pepper
  • 1 can bamboo shoots, rinsed
  • 1 can Water Chestnuts, rinsed
  • 10 oz. Baby Spinach
  • 1-2 oz. dried or fresh Basil, depending on preference/availability It’s about 1 whole bunch. I chopped mine roughly.
  • 1 Thai chili or 1 Jalapeño pepper (optional), sliced I omitted this, just because I wanted to see how hot it was alone.

Prep (cook time will depend on how fat you slice your chicken):

1. Combine curry paste, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, basil and coconut milk in a pot and bring to a boil.

2. Once boiling, mix in chicken, cover and lower heat to nice, sexy simmer.

3. After 10 minutes, mix in red bell peppers.

4. After 10 minutes, lower/turn off heat and place spinach on top and cover. Allow spinach to soften.

5. After spinach softens to a depressing limpness, mix and serve over rice!

6. Enjoy yum food for good stomach health (my attempt at bad English)


Jokes aside, this recipe is frickin’ good! I really recommend it if you want an easy, healthy,  and solid quality Thai dish to “wow” people with.

Thanks to Laura for her recipe, it made an awesome dinner and even better leftovers!

Photos are Courtesy of Laura Encarnacion, Copyright 2012.

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