Thai yellow curry with bamboo shoots is one of the fastest curries you can make at home. This recipe is super simple, using only a few ingredients with minimal steps. The curry is packed full of rich and creamy flavors from coconut cream, yellow potatoes, and chicken. This recipe is one of the fastest weeknight dinners you can whip up for your family.
What is Thai Yellow Curry?
Thai Yellow curry is one of the more popular Thai curries outside of Thailand. The curry paste is made from several ingredients that include herbs, spices, dried peppers, shrimp paste, and curry powder. The color yellow is from turmeric, a bright yellow rhizome herb that belongs to the ginger family. Those ingredients are either mixed together in a mortar and pestle or in a food processor to form a thick and semi-dry paste that is then used to make curry dishes.
Why this recipe works.
- This recipe requires very few ingredients with minimal steps to make it. The curry can be put together for dinner in 30 minutes or less.
- Yellow curry is milder than many of the other popular Thai curries making it a good recipe to introduce to newbies who are intimidated by the spiciness of Thai food. I used both coconut cream and coconut milk, making this recipe super creamy and mild but still so very flavorful.
- Easily adaptable with protein choices. You can use any protein—chicken, beef, pork, seafood, and tofu too. Try combining meats too if you want to experiment more. I love mixing shrimp and/or tofu in with my chicken or beef just to mix things up for fun.
- Can add additional vegetables for healthier options. My recipe doesn’t call for a lot of vegetables since I wanted to keep it simple. However, you CAN easily add your favorite veggies to the recipe. Some of my favorite vegetables to use are zucchini, bell peppers, eggplants, squash, carrots, water chestnuts, snap peas, and cauliflower.
WHAT GOES INTO THIS RECIPE
To make this delicious Thai yellow curry with bamboo shoots, you’ll need a few ingredients to put it all together. Below is a photo of all the ingredients.
Notes on some specific ingredients:
Bamboo shoots: Often hard to find fresh. I often use canned bamboo shoots for my cooking. Just be sure to drain the liquid from the can, then either boil or soak the bamboo shoots in hot water for 5-10 minutes to help remove the tin-like flavor and cooking with it. You can use strips or slices of bamboo for this recipe. See the picture for reference.
Curry Paste: Each brand has a different flavor profile, some saltier than others. You can adjust the flavor of your curry by adding more water, sugar, or coconut milk, or cream when cooking. Those ingredients will help balance out the saltiness. Also, the more curry paste you use, the saltier and spicier your curry will be, so make sure to use less fish sauce as you can always add more later.
How to make Thai Yellow Curry:
Let’s make this yellow curry with easy-to-follow steps, with pictures, below!
- In a soup pot or a medium-sized Dutch oven, heat the oil on medium-high.
- Add the coconut cream to the pot and stir well together. Wait for the sauce to boil before adding more ingredients to the pot to help extract the flavors from the curry paste and coconut cream.
- Add chicken, potatoes, onion, and bamboo. Stir together well and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the entire container of coconut milk to the pot and stir well together.
- Add the brown sugar and the water, mix it in thoroughly and let the curry cook for 4-5 minutes. If adding additional vegetables, do so here.
- Keep an eye on the pot, stirring every minute or so. Lower the heat to medium-low and carefully do a sample with a spoon. Be very careful here—the curry is very hot! Adjust as needed with fish sauce or sugar or more water to dilute the spiciness. Turn the heat off and let the curry cool for 5-8 minutes before serving with cooked Jasmine rice.
Notes* You can adjust the flavor towards the end here. If your curry is too salty, add a small amount of sugar and stir in well. If too sweet, add a touch of salt or fish sauce to your liking. Remove from the stovetop and let cool for 10 minutes before serving over rice.
That's it! Enjoy!
Will the curry freeze well?
- YES! I actually love eating my curries the next day for breakfast. Yes, I do. This is what I do. Reheat the curry over a bowl of rice, fry an egg or two over easy, add the runny egg over the curry bowl, and let the runny egg ooze out all over the curry and rice. You’ll have yourself a hearty breakfast for champions!
What can I substitute for bamboo shoots?
- Bamboo shoots are one of those unique ingredients that you can’t really substitute. It adds a very unique texture to the recipe, so try your best to not skip it. You can find a small jar of them in your local grocery store in the international aisle.
Can I use other types of starchy vegetables besides the yellow potatoes?
- Heck yes! This yellow curry recipe calls for gold potatoes, it cooks the fastest. But you can use any type of potatoes you like! If you use sweet potatoes though, be sure to reduce the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. Pumpkins and squashes are also excellent substitutes, so experiment away! Just a little note though, make sure to cook those starchier potatoes and squash just a bit longer to be sure they are cooked completely. Use a fork to test how tender it is or take a small bite to see how you like the texture.
Homemade or Store-bought Yellow Curry paste?
- Like all the other Thai curry pastes, yellow curry pastes can be made from scratch or can be bought from the Asian markets. Both options are wonderful, however, if you are new to Thai cuisine, I highly recommend starting out with store-bought pastes until you are familiar with the flavor profile. Try out a few different brands as well to see which ones you like best. Some of my favorite brands are Mae Ploy, Aroy D, and Maesri—all are Thai brands and can be found in most Asian markets.
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