This easy Thai green curry with chicken and eggplants will transport you to Thailand with every bite you take! It has incredible flavors from the curry paste cooked in coconut milk, chicken, bamboo shoots, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai eggplants. You can have this authentic Thai green curry chicken for dinner in less than 30 minutes!
If you love Thai green curry, try my authentic Thai green curry paste next time you want green curry. Once you make that delicious curry paste, use it to make another easy and flavorful Thai green curry fried rice. You'll be hooked!
Why this recipe works
- It's easy! It really is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients—easy step-by-step photos below for success.
- It's delicious. This flavorful Thai green curry is sweet, creamy, spicy, and lightly salty, making it unforgettable.
- Thai green curry doesn't have to be spicy! You can adjust the spice level with the amount of curry paste used.
- You can easily use different proteins and or add more vegetables as preferred. This recipe makes an excellent vegetarian meal.
Ingredients you need for an easy Thai green curry recipe
These are the main ingredients for making this authentic and easy Thai green curry recipe. These items are also the brands I use in my kitchen to test this recipe for you. Adapt and adjust as necessary with more fish sauce, sugar, water, or coconut milk.
- Green curry paste. The key ingredient for this authentic Thai green curry recipe. You can use store-bought or make your curry paste. I used the Mae Ploy brand for this recipe or tried my homemade authentic Thai green curry paste using this authentic recipe. The fresh ingredients will change the way you cook and eat curry!
- Chicken. Chicken breast or chicken thighs work well for this recipe. You can use beef, pork, lamb, or duck. Tofu, tempeh, shrimp, fish, and scallops are also great for this recipe. If using the latter set of proteins, reduce the cooking time to only 2-3 minutes since they don't take as long as the meat to cook.
- Coconut cream. I recommend using the Chaokoh brand of coconut cream and milk. Something special about them helps elevate Thai curries to a new height of flavor.
- Coconut milk. Use full-fat coconut milk; never use the lite or sweetened coconut milk.
- Bamboo shoots. Use canned bamboo shoots. Many cuts, tips, strips, slices, or whole are available in Asian markets. If using whole bamboo shoots, slice them into small bite-size pieces first. Always soak, wash, or rinse your canned bamboo before using it to help reduce the tin-like taste.
- Thai green eggplants. Thai eggplants are mostly available in the Asian market. They are green, round small ones the size of a golf ball. Traditional Thai recipes use tiny pea eggplants the size of a dime. Those are nearly impossible to find, so the larger eggplants are fine.
- Kaffir lime leaves. They are also called Makrut lime leaves. There's no substitute for kaffir lime leaves. Best to grab them from the Asian market if you want true authentic flavors.
- Red chilis. These are optional for extra heat and added colors to your green curry. For a less spicy dish, use sweet bell peppers, jalapenos, bananas, or any peppers of choice. This is where you can add extra spiciness to your curry.
- Water. Use vegetable or chicken stock for added flavors. Make sure it's unsalted. If not, adjust the fish sauce slightly in the recipe measurement.
- Sugar. Use white, palm, monk fruit, coconut, or brown sugar. Or you can use other sweetening agents if you want a healthier option.
- Fish sauce. I used the Squid brand for my Thai cooking. But you can use any brands you have. Since each brand has different levels of saltiness, adjust and season according. Use a little at a time and add more towards the end if need to.
- Thai basil leaves—another must-have ingredient. Substitute Italian basil but adds extra for a stronger flavor.
- Oil. Use coconut, avocado, canola, or vegetable oil. Just a little bit of browning of the garlic and curry paste. No olive oil.
- Garlic. This is completely optional. Garlic is not typically used in a Thai green curry. Since I'm using a store-bought paste to extract a fresh flavor, I first brown the garlic. I skip this step when using my homemade curry paste. I'm sure many Thai home cooks will wrinkle their eyebrows at this, but It's a delicious way of "cheating" for more flavors. Hehe. (;
What are Thai Eggplants?
In Thailand, Thai eggplants are traditionally used in the recipe. Also, the type of eggplants used are tiny pea-sized, and extremely rare in the US. Less rare are the golf ball-sized Thai eggplants. Those are often used in green curry recipes.
For those unfamiliar with Thai eggplants, check out the photos below to take a look. They are another type of eggplant used and loved by Thai people. They have a white interior with tiny soft seeds, almost like pepper seeds.
The taste is crispy, a tiny bit earthly, and way less chewy than the long purple eggplants. They are often eaten raw and served with dipping sauce (like on a veggie tray).
How do you make authentic Thai green curry?
Below are simple steps to help you make a creamy, delicious, and easy green curry recipe. Please check out the step-by-step photos to help with your success in making this delicious Thai green curry recipe.
- Sautee garlic and a little oil in a medium-sized Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. This step is optional and not usually done in a traditional Thai curry recipe, but I love the extra depth of flavors it adds to my recipe!
- Add the green curry paste and break up the clumps. Cook for 20-30 seconds or less.
- Add the coconut cream and stir well with the paste. Use the top thick layer of coconut milk if you don't have coconut cream.
- Let the mixture cook until the coconut oil separates or until the bubbles form. You'll have a thick green curry sauce at this point.
- Add the chicken, and cook for 5-6 minutes until the chicken is done. Add the eggplants and onions, and cook for 2 minutes. If the chicken pieces are smaller, use less time to cook.
- Add the entire can of coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce, stir well, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Taste the flavor and adjust as needed with more fish sauce or sugar.
- Add the bamboo shoots, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir some.
- Add the kaffir lime leaves and chilis, and stir well. Add the sweet basil leaves last and turn the heat off. That's it! Serve with jasmine rice or any brown white rice of choice.
Garnish options. Garnish your green curry with fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced red bell pepper (for color), and julienned kaffir lime leaves.
Not recommended for garnishing or adding to the side are cilantro, green onions, bean sprouts, lime juice, or soy sauce. These are not authentic to the Thai flavor of this recipe. (;
Helpful Kitchen Notes
- Use a large soup pot to make your Thai green curry. I like using my 6-quart Dutch oven.
- Leftover Thai curries are amazing the next day! It's even creamier and tastier because the curry sauce and coconut milk will have a chance to seep through the ingredients making the curry extra flavorful!
- For the leftover curry, heat it back up again and serve over jasmine rice. Here's my secret tip- Fry an egg over easy, then top it over the curry and let the yoke oozes over the rice. AMAZING! It's one of my favorite breakfasts in the world!
- For added spiciness, add sliced or chopped Thai red peppers at the end of the cooking process.
- Thai green curry can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days. Heat it back in a microwave for 1-2 minutes or over medium heat on the stove until warm.
- This recipe freezes well too! Store in a glass container and let thaw before heating it again. The coconut milk will harden. Stir it all together once it's warm.
- Make this green curry vegetarian by omitting the meat and adding extra vegetables.
- Fish is good for this recipe. Use thick-cut fish like bass, tilapia, cod, halibut, and snapper.
- Add extra vegetables if you'd like! I love using water chestnuts, zucchini, snow peas, bell peppers, sweet onions, and squash.
More homemade Thai curry pastes
Try these Thai curry pastes at home and notice a big difference in flavors and fragrances.
- Thai red curry paste
- Prik Khing curry paste
- authentic Thai green curry paste
- Yellow curry paste
- Tom Yum curry paste
Green Curry vs. Red Curry
Thai green and red curry is very similar, using almost the same ingredients with one minor difference. But it’s the one thing that sets the two curries apart. Green curry paste uses fresh green chilis, while red curry paste uses dried red chilis. Thus the differences in color and flavors between the two.
Green curry paste is made from several fresh herbs and spices like coriander seeds, white peppercorns, Thai green chilis, garlic, shallots, galangal, kaffir lime rind and leaves, lemongrass, cilantro roots (or stems), and shrimp paste. These ingredients are typically ground together in a granite mortar, pestle to a paste, and then used to make green curry.
Green curry freezes extremely well! I usually have a few small portioned-out curries in my freezer if not eaten each time I make a big batch. It’s an easy way to have leftovers. Here’s how- try green curry for an amazing breakfast! Trust me. Just fry an egg sunny side up, put it on top of the curry over the jasmine rice, and you have the heartiest, creamiest, and tastiest breakfast that is tastier than biscuits and gravy!
Thai green curry is typically eaten with steamed jasmine rice. However, you can eat it with Basmati, brown, or sticky rice. Try it with noodles, rice noodles,s or eggs noodles, or eat it alone. There are no rules. Whatever you want to enjoy your curry with is perfectly A-okay!
To add flavor to your green curry, add fresh or dried chili flakes, a squeeze of lime, fish sauce, Thai basil, or thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves. Play around with these flavors until you get the flavors you are happy with.
Thai green curry is mostly healthy with a touch of sugar. You can substitute monk fruit sugar, agave, honey, or maple syrup for a healthier option. You can also add more vegetables too to make it even better!
Yes and no. Thai green curry can be adaptable by using less green curry paste. Fresh green chili is one of the star ingredients of the green curry paste. They are spicy little things! They are about 5-10 times spicier than jalapenos peppers! Normally, Thai bird-eye chilis are used in a traditional curry paste recipe, and those babies are feisty hot! For a homemade green curry paste, try this authentic Thai green curry paste.
More Thai Recipes you'll love
- Thai green curry fried rice
- Easy red curry green beans with shrimp, Pad Prik Khing curry
- Easy Thai beef panang curry recipe
- Thai massaman curry with chicken and sweet potatoes
- Thai red curry with chicken and pineapple
- Authentic Thai red curry recipe
- Red Thai curry with chicken and kabocha squash
- Instant pot Tom Yum shrimp
- Thai vegetable stir fry