Say HELLO to this delicious Thai green curry aka your new best bud that will make your weeknight dinners a little more exciting. Can you believe that this Thai green curry or gaeng keow wan (แกงเขียวหวาน) recipe is ready in just 25 minutes? I mean, who wouldn't want a bowl of freshly steamed rice with beef green curry after a long day at work and a ride home during rush hour?
This is a really quick and easy Thai green curry recipe made with store-bought curry paste that anyone can follow! I like to make mine with beef, but you can do chicken, pork or even tofu if you want to go for a meatless version. Either way, you're definitely gonna love it!
THAI GREEN CURRY PASTE
I use the green curry paste I usually get from the market in this recipe. The pastes at this shop are freshly made daily but still they're store-bought. That's not to say it's bad. I feel like there's a stigma attached to ready-made curry pastes when it comes to Thai curries. But I think they're great for those who can't find every single ingredient needed to make the pastes or don't have the time to prepare the pastes themselves. Also, I can assure you that tubbed curry pastes are good enough. Of course, they're not as good as the fresh ones but they're fine. When I was living abroad, I used them all the time!
The secret about the Thai green curry paste is that you need to fry it first! This is probably the most important thing about making this curry that so many people miss. We fry the curry paste in some of the coconut cream prepared for the curry at the beginning so that it's fragrant. There's no need to fry the paste in oil because this way, the coconut cream absorbs the flavor from the paste and the paste won't stick anyway.
COCONUT CREAM VS. COCONUT MILK IN THAI GREEN CURRY
Although probably less known than coconut milk, traditionally we would actually use coconut cream to make our creamy curries. The difference between coconut cream and coconut milk is that coconut cream is thicker. We call the cream hua kati and the milk haang kati in Thai, with hua meaning head, haang meaning tail and kati meaning coconut cream or coconut milk.
Both coconut cream and milk is made the same way. You simply pour warm water over freshly shredded coconut, let it sit for a bit before squeezing the coconut with your hand and then straining. The first time you do this with your coconut you get the cream, and the second time you get the milk. Hence, the terms head and tail. 🙂 Both types of kati are used together in curries. We fry the curry paste in the coconut cream and use the coconut milk when we want to add more liquid to our curry.
That said, people tend to use the two items interchangeably these days as we don't always remember to stock up on both. Also, those who don't want their curries to be very creamy for health reasons will use just coconut milk. I've made curries with coconut milk countless times and they were good every time. If I'm using the cream, like in this recipe, I don't even bother to use the milk. Since the cream is already thick and I need just a little bit more liquid, I just add water. If I'm making a large pot and I know I can finish a can or carton of coconut milk, then I'll use that (you need to finish things like this within a few days of opening).
HOMEMADE OR CANNED COCONUT CREAM/MILK?
I've mentioned this in a few posts but just in case you haven't read them. Homemade coconut cream and milk is so much better than the canned version. Somehow, the fresh version just makes curries richer. My dad and I could tell when my mom cooks with canned coconut cream/milk. If it's possible for you to get shredded coconut, even if it's just for once, do go ahead and try it. You may not only enjoy your curry more, but also the experience of making homemade coconut cream/milk.
So I hope you learned a thing or two about the Thai green curry from this post. If you get to try this recipe, let me know how it went and be sure to share your picture with me on my Facebook page or Instagram!
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
Thai Green Curry with Beed (Gaeng Keow Wan) Recipe
- 250 ml coconut cream
- 80 grams Thai green curry paste
- 250 grams beef sliced
- 8 kaffir lime leaves hand-torn
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 8 Thai eggplant quartered (If you can't find the Thai eggplant, you can use 200 grams of any type you can find)
- ⅓ cup pea eggplant also known as Turkey berry
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves
- Thai basil leaves
- Thai red chilis
- Heat half of the coconut cream in a pot over medium heat.
- Once the coconut cream starts to boil, fry off the green curry paste in it until fragrant.
- Pour the rest of the coconut cream in and continue to stir for about 1-2 minutes
- Add beef and kaffir lime leaves to the pot and cook until the beef is done. If your curry is too thick, you can add ½ cup of water to it at this point.
- Add fish sauce and sugar and taste-test your green curry to see if it needs more fish sauce or sugar.
- Once the curry is boiling, toss in the Thai eggplant and pea eggplant and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Toss the Thai basil leaves in and turn off the heat.
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