Delicious Thai Yellow Chicken Curry Recipe – Restaurant Style
This beautiful, delicious Thai Yellow Chicken Curry recipe is all about delivering beautiful, fresh Thai flavours with just a little bit of depth from the turmeric and tamarind.
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I’m running through the Thai curries again. It’s all because I had one simple curry in a restaurant and realised I wanted to emulate that neat and tidy restaurant style.
I love a good curry. I especially love them when they’re powerful, potent and intensely flavoured. With big, bold flavours, carefully balanced.
I tend to drive toward the most authentic dishes. The traditional ones made with love, care and the real techniques used over years and years.
And this will be no different. At least in the ways that matter. But it will just be a little fancier. A little restaurant-ier..
Healthy food is very much at the forefront of people’s minds these days.
I’m not saying this is an especially healthy dish. Any dish made with coconut milk is going to have a little fat in it.
But it is fairly light, very veg heavy, with a lean protein and clean rice. It’s as healthy as my recipes get, anyway!
And equally important, it’s a pretty little thing. Full of vibrant colours and little pieces of crunch. Diverse textures, simple, yet complex flavours and creamy warmth.
About the dish
When I think of a Thai Yellow Chicken Curry, I think of a delicious Thai curry, with delicious Thai flavours, tempered and balanced with the earthy flavours of turmeric and dried red chillies.
In that sense, I find it perhaps the most unorthodox of the coloured Thai curries. Where the green and red both perfectly capture the wonderful freshness of Thai food, the yellow takes that freshness and infuses it that with something far more complex. And, dare I say it, a little more grown up.
Just like the other Thai curries, the Thai yellow starts with a paste. And just like those, that paste is made from base ingredients like shallots and garlic, with aromatics like ginger, galangal, kaffir lime and spices like chilli, coriander and cumin. Oh, and a little shrimp paste.
And just like that, you’ve already got more flavour than most dishes ever will. And that’s before we add the coconut milk, the chicken, the fresh vegetables and the majority of the seasoning.
Topped with fresh herbs and spices and served with rice, it’s sweetened with sugar, ideally palm, and soured with citrus or even tamarind.
A quick guide – Delicious Thai Yellow Chicken Curry Recipe – Restaurant Style
So, the first thing to do is start the coconut milk reducing. We’ll take it all the way down at a good simmer until the oil splits from the milk.
Next up, we’ll put together our paste. The paste contains the vast majority of the ingredients, so we’ll start with the ones that need extra attention.
In a hot, unoiled pan, we’ll toast the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and the whole, dried red chillies, just for a minute or two until they’re nice and brittle. Then we’ll transfer them to a pestle and mortar and grind them into as fine a powder as possible. And then add some dried turmeric and some cinnamon powder.
Then we’ll add the other paste ingredients to a blender and mix them all together. So that includes the shallots, coriander stalks, garlic, ginger, galangal, fresh turmeric (if you’re using it) and shrimp paste. You can also add tamarind paste at this stage too, or you could add it a little later. Or not at all! Oh, and then combine it with the powders from the pestle and mortar.
Then, we’ll chop our vegetables, to be used a little later. Courgette, red pepper, baby corn and mangetouts. As well as perhaps preparing a little chilli and coriander for garnish.
Once the coconut milk has reduced all the way down to the point that you can see the separation of oil and milk, dice up and throw in the chicken, then colour all over on a medium-high heat.
We’ll add the paste next, lowering the heat just a little and cooking it through as best we can. Then we’ll add stock to bring it back up and allow the chicken to simmer away in the stock while we prepare everything else.
In another pan, we’ll add some rice and enough water to submerge the rice and then the same again. On a relatively gentle boil, we’ll cook that until the water has cooked in and evaporated.
In another pan with a little oil, we’ll add the courgettes and baby corn. After a couple of minutes, the peppers and mangetouts can go in as well.
Once they’re done, we’ll season the sauce with sugar, lime juice and fish sauce, then plate everything up, starting with the rice, then the sauce, then the veg and finally the fresh ingredients to go on top.
A few final things to remember
- This Thai yellow chicken is a lot like my like my Thai green curry recipe in the sense that I’ve listed a whole bunch of authentic Thai ingredients that can absolutely be substituted for other, more easily available things.
- If you need to swap shrimp paste or fish sauce for salt or even miso, you’ll still end up with a tasty dish.
- Or if you want to swap out the galangal for some ginger, it’s a perfect alternative, and very well suited to the restaurant style nature of this dish.
- Palm sugar can easily be substituted with caster sugar. And if you can’t find any kaffir lime leaves, you’ll do just fine without them. They’re one of my very favourite flavours, but when I made the curry in these pictures, they’d forgotten to send kaffir lime leaves with my order, and I promise it was still perfectly delicious.
Similar Recipes & Useful Sides
Delicious Thai Yellow Curry – Just like this Thai yellow chicken curry, this fantastic recipe takes the fresh, vibrant flavours of Thailand and adds to them the complex flavours of dry spices and earthy turmeric.
Perfect Prawn Pad Thai – The national dish of Thailand. Quite possibly the perfect stir fry! With fresh seafood, paper thin rice noodles, crunchy peanuts, zingy tamarind and fiery chilli.
Thai Chicken Massaman Curry – An amazing Mughal dish that perfectly merges Thailand’s incredible, fresh, beautiful flavours with the most decadent richness and spiciness of India at its most indulgent.
Authentic Thai Yellow Chicken Curry Recipe – Restaurant Style
- 2 whole Chicken Legs
- 1/3 Courgette
- 1/2 cup Mangetouts
- 1/2 cup Baby Corn
- 400 ml Chicken Stock
- 1 can Coconut Milk
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 – 2 tsp Tamarind
- 2 inches Galangal optional, you can just use ginger if you prefer
- 2 inches Ginger
- 2 inches Turmeric or 2 – 3 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 – 4 Dried Red Chillies
- 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
- Sml handful Coriander Stalks
- 1 tsp Shrimp Paste optional
Seasonings & Garnish
- Fresh Coriander
- Fresh Basil
- Fresh Red Chilli
- 1 – 2 tsp Palm Sugar or caster sugar
- Fish Sauce or salt
- Lemon or Lime Juice
- Begin by pouring the coconut milk into a small pan and reducing it on a medium heat until the coconut milk splits into oil.
- In a hot, unoiled pan, toast the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and the whole, dried red chillies, just for a minute or two until they’re nice and brittle. Then transfer them to a pestle and mortar and grind them into as fine a powder as possible. And then add some dried turmeric and some cinnamon powder.
- Add that powder to a blender and then peel the shallots, garlic and lemongrass, trimming the ends as required and adding them as well. Then add the coriander stalks, either fresh peeled ginger or galangal (or both) and, optionally, tamarind paste, shrimp paste and fresh turmeric.
- Blend the ingredients together as thoroughly as you can. If you need to, transfer them to the pestle and mortar to really work them together.
- Chop the courgette, red pepper, baby corn and mangetouts and set them all aside separately, then prepare a little red chilli and fresh coriander to be used as garnish.
- Bone the chicken and dice it up into bite size pieces.
- Once the coconut milk has reduced all the way and you can see the separation between the oil and the remaining milk, add the chicken, then colour all over on a medium-high heat.
- Add the paste and lower the heat just a tiny bit, then cook that through for a few minutes and add the stock, to bring the coconut milk back up.
- Allow that to simmer on a low-medium temperature for a few minutes while you add 1 cup rice to another pan, submerged in twice the volume of water, then boil that down until the water has totally evaporated, leaving behind perfectly cooked rice.
- While the rice cooks and the sauce simmers, in a separate frying pan with a little oil, on medium-high heat, cook the courgette and baby corn for 3 – 4 minutes, then add the mangetouts and red pepper and cook for a further 3 – 4.
- Add either palm sugar or caster sugar to the curry sauce, then a few splashes of lime juice, as well as optional fish sauce if required.
- Plate everything up, starting with the rice, then the sauce, then the fried vegetables and finally garnishing with a little fresh coriander and some fresh chilli.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe or have any comments or queries, please do let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to like and share!