I wanted to share this recipe for Thai green chicken curry with you for a couple of reasons.
Firstly – and most importantly – it is simply delicious! As a result of simmering gently in the rich coconut milk, the chicken becomes beautifully tender and retains all its moisture and succulence. The spiciness of the paste and the delicate flavours of the other herbs and the fish sauce all combine to produce a beautifully nuanced flavour with many levels of complexity – as long as you don’t overdo the curry paste!
Getting the curry paste quantity right does involve a little trial and error as they vary so much in heat intensity and flavour. The shop-bought ones in the UK tend to be milder than those bought online or from specialist Asian shops. The one I use is available from Amazon (n.b. affiliate link) May Ploy paste and has a good chilli kick, but not at the expense of other flavours. It also contains no artificial ingredients, and works out much cheaper than the small jars that you find in the supermarkets. As in ridiculously so….
Another reason is that green chicken curry is a great recipe for using coconut milk. Yes, coconut milk is high in calories, but it is a popular alternative to cow’s milk for those who have a lactose intolerance. And I’m guessing that if you are a follower of Good Food Running that you are following an active lifestyle – which needs fuelling! I am not suggesting that anyone knocks back gallons of coconut milk on a regular basis, but that it can play a role in supporting a healthy lifestyle.
And calories aren’t everything…
While coconut milk is high in calories and saturated fats, a high level of those saturated fats are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are different from long-chain fatty acids in the way they are processed by the body, in that they are quickly absorbed by the intestines and go directly to the liver for processing for energy. Some studies have also suggested that MCTs can help suppress appetite, and even increase your metabolism.
The main MCT in coconut milk is lauric acid, which is converted into a compound called monolauren in the body. Monolauren has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, supporting the immune system.
Coconuts are also a source of Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6 and Vitamin C. They also contain useful quantities of manganese, iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus.
So, how to go about making the Thai green chicken curry?
Well, there are 3 options for the paste:
- make it from scratch (great for flavour, but time-consuming)
- use a ready-made version (convenient, but lacking in the freshness of the first alternative)
- my suggestion in this recipe: use a ready made paste like the Mae Ploy one, and give it some added freshness with some fresh ingredients and other flavours
So, try the version of green chicken curry below that gives you the best of both worlds: the convenience of shop-bought, but with added zing! A powerful punch of flavour, the goodness of the coconut, and quick and easy – giving you more time to run!
If you want more cocnut recipes, you might want to check out my recipe for Healthy Tarka Dhal.
As always, let me know what you think. Good running and good eating, folks!
Thai Green Chicken Curry
A classic Thai green chicken curry. This recipe uses the convenience of a ready-made paste, but with the added freshness of lemon grass, coriander and the umami of the fish sauce.
- 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1 small onion halved and thinly sliced
- 3 (or more) tsp Thai green curry paste The paste varies considerably in heat, so one to experiment with!
- 400 ml tinned coconut milk
- 400 g skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 kaffir lime leaves substitute with zest of a lime if unavailable. Not the same, but a good substitute
- 1 handful roughly chopped fresh coriander
Remove any tough outer leaves from the lemongrass and thinly slice. Discard any tough or woody parts.
Cut the chicken into small, bite-size cubes.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion for around 5 minutes, until soft.
Add the curry paste and around half of the coconut milk to the pan, stir and bring gently to the boil.
Reduce the heat and add the chicken, stirring well.
Add the remaining coconut milk, lemongrass, fish sauce and lime leaves. Reduce to a simmer and cook for around 15 minutes. Stir from time to time.
Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes to allow it to cool slightly. Add half of the chopped coriander and stir well. Serve in bowls with the remaining coriander sprinkled over the top. Steamed jasmine rice is the perfect accompaniment.