Authentic Thai Recipe for Sweet Green Curry with Chicken
Sweet Green Curry with Chicken
แกงเขียวหวานไก่ ( Kaeng Kiew Waan Gai )
Added on May 23, 2014
Rated 4.5 Stars from 565 reader reviews
Yield: 2 - 4 servings
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cooking time: 20 Minutes
Ready in: 30 Minutes
This Thai sweet green curry soup is a bowl full of thick, beautiful greenish-brown coconut stew, packed with chunky chicken pieces, green eggplant, green peppercorns, mild red chili, and a whole lot of amazing flavors. Kaeng Kiew Waan Gai (แกงเขียวหวานไก่) is one of the most popular and well-known Thai dishes, and it can be ordered at virtually every Thai restaurant in the world.
However, I can almost guarantee that you have never had it made this way. I use chicken thighs with the bone left in, cracking the bone to let all that extra flavor out. The extra chicken fat from the meat and skin makes this wonderful dish even better. Try it, you'll love it!
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How to Make Kaeng Kiew Waan Gai
Detailed Step-by-step Method:
Select 2 whole chicken thighs with skin on. Cut the meat away from the bone, then cut into 1 - 2 inch cubes. Using a meat cleaver or heavy knife, chop the bones in half. Remove any small, sharp pieces of bone.
Pluck the leaves and flower tops from a nice bunch of Horapah (Thai Sweet Basil), enough to make about 1 1/2 cups of loosely packed leaves. Be sure you are using the right type of basil, as other types such as Holy Basil or Lemon Basil are not acceptable for use with strong curry dishes.
Cut the Thai Eggplants into quarters, and soak them in a small bowl of water with 1 teaspoon of salt. This will prevent them from turning brown or black before you are ready to cook them.
Pluck the pea eggplants from the stems and clean the peas well.
Carefully wash the green peppercorn bunches, so the berries stay on the bunch. Tear the center stem away from 3 Kaffir lime leaves.
Stack 3 Kaffir lime leaves on top of each other, fold in half, then slice the stack into very thin slivers.
Slice one Thai Long Chili or other mild red chili into diagonal slices.
Half the coconut milk into two bowls, each containing about 1 cup. Assemble all the ingredients together next to your stove for quick access.
Heat a wok or deep frying pan, preferably one with a lid. Add 1 cup of coconut milk and let it start to bubble, then add the green curry paste. Mix them together well and let the curry fry in the coconut fat. You will see green oil start to come out of the mixture. Let it cook like this for about 2 - 3 minutes over medium heat. Do not let it brown, just bubble and fry slowly.
Add the chicken pieces to the pan, and stir them around until they are well coated with the curry and coconut mixture. Put a lid on the pan and fry slowly for about 2- 3 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is starting to brown a little. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked, just sealed. If your pan doesn't have a lid you may need to add a little water to keep the curry from drying out. If it gets too dry it can burn and turn brown.
Add the coconut sugar, and stir it around until it is completely melted. Continue frying for about 1 minute more.
Add the second cup of coconut milk to the pan and stir well. Next add the green peppercorn bunches and kaffir lime leaf halves. Stir them into the curry well. Let the mixture start to boil.
Next add the Thai Eggplants and Pea Eggplants. Stir them in well, put the lid on the pan and let them simmer for about 5 minutes. Add a little water if needed. The chicken and eggplants should be mostly covered by the curry.
When the Thai Eggplants are just beginning to get a little soft, remove the pan from the heat so it stops cooking. You want the eggplant to still be very firm, not mushy.
Taste the curry. It should be sweet, a little spicy, and a little salty. Green curry paste usually has salt added, so we avoid adding salt until you taste it. If you think it could use more salt, add fish sauce a little at a time, stirring well, until it tastes good. If it is too salty for you, you can add more coconut milk and some water to thin it down. However, green curry is eaten with rice and once you start eating you may find the the salt is just fine. It's a matter of preference.
Let the pan cool for a minute or so.
Next, add the Horapah to the curry and stir it in well. It doesn't need to cook, just wilt a little. Ladle immediately into a serving bowl, arranging the ingredients so that some chicken pieces, the eggplants, and the peppercorns are on top so you can see them well.
Garnish with the fresh, sliced, mild red chili, a few Horapah leaves, and the green Kaffir lime leaves that you cut into slivers. Thai Green Curry should be served from a single bowl that is shared by everyone. Each person should have a small plate of hot Thai Jasmine Rice. The curry is spooned onto the rice in very small amounts, mixed in, and eaten with the same spoon. If you do not want to eat Thai style, then you can use smaller bowls, one for each person.