Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe – Restaurant Style

Whichever of the coloured Thai curries is your favourite, this Thai red curry chicken recipe packs a perfect punch.

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I posted a whole bunch of Thai stuff a little while ago. I started with a green curry, then a yellow, then a whole load of wonderful Thai recipes of all different kinds.

There were stir fries, curries and noodle dishes. All of them wonderful examples of what can be done with Thai cuisine and the diversity of its flavours.

But somehow, despite the fact that I made everything from the Pad Thai, Thailand’s national dish, to the Phat Phrik Khing, a really amazing “dry curry”, essentially a curry without sauce, I never made a red curry.

I made a green curry. Then a yellow curry. Then a Panang curry. But I never made a red curry, even though the Panang all but uses the red curry as a base.


And here I am again. I’ve cooked a green curry recently. I’ve cooked a yellow curry recently. But the red was the last one I thought to put together.

And it’s not even that I don’t like a good Thai red curry. I love the potency of its flavour, the power of its punch.

I think it might simply be that I love the green and yellow so much that maybe, sometimes, the red just doesn’t get a look in …

Nevertheless, I think it’s about time that changed. That’s why I’ve chosen to put together this Thai red curry chicken recipe, an attempt to showcase the wonderful, fiery dish that it is.

Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe

About the dish

Just like the other Thai curries, this Thai red curry chicken is all about the wonderful fresh ingredients and vibrant flavours that make up this gorgeous recipe.

The main components are, aside from the chicken, are the amazing aromatics like the galangal and lemongrass. As well as the shrimp paste and fish sauce that bring this dish its characteristic depth.

Because we’re cooking a restaurant style dish today, I’m going to throw in a little ginger as well. I like to use ginger alongside the galangal, largely because I like to have my cake and eat it. But the real reason is that this dish is often made with ginger instead, simply because it’s so much more accessible.


Red chilli gives the dish its characteristic red colour. This will come as no surprise to most, given Thai cuisine’s penchant for spice and fire.

The red chilli in this dish comes in two forms. Both that of chilli powder and of fresh red chillies.

In some Thai red curry chicken recipes you’ll find paprika or cayenne pepper. They’ll absolutely do the job and they’re not necessarily unwelcome flavours, but there’s no need if you’re happy to go all in with the chilli!

And maybe a little pepper. You know, this is a restaurant style dish after all. And restaurants do tend to be a little restrained when it comes to spices.

A quick guide – Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe – Restaurant Style

As with most of my Thai curries, the most important first step is to start the coconut milk reducing so we can fry off the chicken and paste – which we’ll make in a moment – in the oil that separates from the milk.

At the same time, we’ll peel and dice up our potatoes and simmer them until they’re almost completely cooked.

Next up, we’ll make the paste itself, which is the only really long-winded or complicated part of the process. And it’s be honest, it’s not exactly difficult. It just takes a little faffing around.

Start off by toasting the dry spices in a dry pan and crushing them up in a pestle and mortar. That includes cumin seeds, coriander seeds and mustard seeds.

Then we’ll add our existing powdered spices and we’ll throw them into a blender with some peeled shallots, lemongrass, garlic, galangal or ginger (or both), red chillies, chilli powder, shrimp paste and a few coriander stalks.


Once they’re all blended together and our coconut milk is fully reduced, we’ll dice up our chicken, mushrooms and yellow peppers. We’ll fry them off separately and add them a little later, along with a little kale.

It might also be helpful to slices up your chillies at this point, or even to pre-pick your coriander. Just so they’re ready when you need them.

We’ll start the cook by throwing the diced up chicken into the reduced coconut milk and colouring it all over, then adding the paste and cooking it through.

Next up, we’ll add our stock and our potatoes and let it all simmer for a few minutes while we cook our rice in one pan and our remaining chopped vegetables in another, starting with the mushrooms and finishing with the yellow peppers.

Finally, we’ll add the kale to simmer for a minute or two more, then season the dish with sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, garnish with a little chilli and coriander, then serve.

A few final things to remember

  • Just like in those last two Thai curry recipes, you can play around with the ingredients in this one as much as you see fit.
  • If you need to swap shrimp paste or fish sauce for salt or even miso, you’ll still end up with a tasty dish.
  • And like I mentioned above, feel free to use one or other of the ginger and galangal, or even both. I want this to be as accessible as possible and while it’s not especially authentic, ginger is used in Thai curries in all kinds of well established … um … establishments?
  • 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 my 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.

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Thai Red Curry Chickek Recipe

Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe – Restaurant Style

Ed Chef
Whichever of the coloured Thai curries is your favourite, this Thai red curry chicken recipe packs a perfect punch.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, main, Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 2


Main Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 can Coconut Milk full fat
  • 1/2 Yellow Pepper
  • 3 med Potatoes
  • 2 inches Galangal or ginger, or both


  • 400 ml Stock
  • 2/3 cup Rice
  • 2 Shallots
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 4 – 8 Red Chillies
  • 1/2 Red Pepper optional
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Shrimp Paste
  • Coriander Stalks

Seasonings & Garnishes

  • Lime Juice
  • Sugar palm or caster
  • Fish Sauce
  • Coriander
  • Basil
  • Green Chilli



  • Start by pouring the coconut milk into a pan and reducing at a medium temperature until the milk splits from the oil, then set aside until you’re ready to cook.
  • While the coconut milk reduces, peel the potatoes and dice them into fairly large, bite size pieces. When soft, set aside.
  • Slice the mushrooms and the yellow pepper and set both aside separately.
  • Dice up the chicken and set aside as well.
  • Toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and mustard seeds in a hot pan with no oil, just for a minute or so to dry and brittle them.
  • Grind them up in a pestle and mortar, then add to a blender with the coriander stalks, red pepper (optional), peeled ginger or unpeeled galangal (or both), shrimp paste (also optional), peeled shallots, peeled garlic and the peeled and trimmed lemongrass.
  • Blend them together and if necessary finish in a blender.
  • Dice up the green chillies and pick some of the coriander leaves, then prepare to cook.


  • Add the chicken to the reduced coconut milk on a high heat and colour all over.
  • Add the paste and lower the heat to medium, then continue to cook it through for a few minutes.
  • the sliced chillies and fresh coriander leaves.
Keyword red curry, thai red curry, thai red curry chicken, thai red curry chicken recipe

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