Thai Red Curry Chicken


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch fresh galangal (Kha), or ginger
  • 3 ounces fresh red chili peppers (or use dried, soak in warm water for 30 minutes)
  • 5-10 red Thai bird chili peppers, depending on how spicy you want it to be
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons shaved palm sugar, or use brown sugar 
  • 1 large lemongrass, white part only, bruised
  • 5 kaffir-lime leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound chicken meat, sliced thinly
  • 1 can (8 ounces) bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • Cilantro sprigs
  • Lime wedges (optional)


  • Using mortar and pestle, grind the first 7 ingredients until they turn into paste form. Alternatively, you can use food processor.
  • Heat oil in a dutch pan over medium heat. Add curry paste, lemongrass, lime leaves, and stir fry until fragrant. Add coconut milk and chicken stock into the pan, mix until combined and bring to boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the sauce for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning, until the sauce is reduced and become oily.
  • Add chicken and bamboo shoots. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Add peas and bring to simmer until the peas are well cooked. Season the curry with palm sugar, fish sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Turn off the heat. Stir in basil leaves. Ladle the curry into serving bowl, garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve with steamed rice and lime wedges