Guest Post: Thai Chicken Curry*

* by Thu Vu
Thu is a classmate of mine in New York. Come to think of it, some of our favorite memories have revolved around food. A few days after we met, I opened my door one day to find Thu with a big pot of Thai curry, and we exchanged stories over a fragrant bowl of jasmine rice. Fast forward a couple of years, I got married last April. Not wanting me to miss out on all the Vietnamese traditions, Thu bought a couple of  roasted ducks, and asked her dad to make the most delicious fried rice for brunch the day after my wedding. During medical school, on the most stressful days, Thu always has a way to bring my spirits up. "Do you want some Canh Chua?" - she would ask. The answer is always yes. Thu's recipes are simple, wholesome, and delicious - everything that is "home cooking."

A. W.

Hi! I'm one of April's classmates in New York, and she requested that I do a food and cooking post for her. We cook for each other all the time, and she provides me with encouragement and company, and I provide her with editorial feedback on her culinary creations. Things to learn from April: Never substitute more than one thing in a recipe. With that bit of advice, I share with you one of the first recipes I ever put together on my own.

I shamelessly stole the idea for a curry from a friend a few years ago and have been working on perfecting the recipe ever since. It's both spicy and sweet, with the heaviness of the protein balanced with the more aromatic fresh basil and a bit of ginger to round out the spice. I have no idea as to whether it's authentic or not, but taste wins out over authenticity.


  • 1 can lite coconut milk (regular can be used, but will more easily boil over)
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
  • 2 bell peppers, red and green, cut into strips (or ~1.5 cups of frozen tri-color bell pepper strips)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb chicken breasts (less or more, depending on how much protein you want), cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce or to taste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Basil, either dry or a small handful of fresh leaves, chopped
  • 1 inch knob of ginger root, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Jasmine rice

Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and add about half a cup of water (I add the water to the empty coconut milk can, swish it around, and pour it into the pot). As it starts to boil, stir in the curry paste. When that's dissolved, you can add the sugar, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Add the bamboo shoots and bell peppers, and let it come to a boil again, and then bring it down to a simmer.

In a wok or something equivalent, heat a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil, then sauté the onions until they start to "sweat," that is, turn slightly translucent. Then add the ginger and the chicken, and cook it until it's just done. Take the sauce (which should have been simmering for a bit now) and pour it over the chicken, stir it up, add the basil, and taste to make sure it's sweet/spicy/salty enough. Let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes to let the flavors sink in, then it's ready to serve with rice.


Hien said...

I'm a fan of Thai curry myself, especially the green one <3 Thank you so much for this recipe, I'm gonna try it next week yay! It's only slightly different from mine x

April said...

I can testify that this recipe is delicious :-).

Thu said...


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