Thai Green Chicken Curry (Gaeng Khiao Wan Gai)

Mention Thailand to anyone who has been there for a short holiday at some point, and the conversation will invariably turn to the thai food. I guarantee the next sentence in the conversation will either include mention of thai green chicken curry or pad thai. (If it doesn’t that is because the individual has been to Thailand more than once!). Don’t ask me why, but these two dishes seem to sum up the thai experience for many.  Personally i am not a massive fan of either, on the curry front i would rather devour a panang or massaman, and on the pad thai front once in a while is fine as consistancy seems to be an issue – i am yet to have the same result each time, sometimes oily, invariably different sized noodles and resulting texture – ok, i am just getting nit picky but you catch my drift.

Because i am not a massive fan i was not really going to bother recording how the good lady creates this curry….i just don’t see the day when i will go “i have a hankering for green curry, let’s do it”, the other problem is that getting the vegetables in blightly just ain’t that easy. It’s one thing picking them in the backgarden in Isaan at whim, but quite another traipsing around oriental food outlets in the UK in the forlorn hope you’ll find a small, invariably expensive, tray of  jet lagged eggplant.

So why is this post even here? Well my wife turned up, eggplant in hand, beaming from ear to ear after a succesful foray and i just didn’t have the heart to say no…and anyway i know what’s good for me..

So onwards, this is a pretty easy curry recipe to knock up…..if you have the right ingredients. I am not going to claim the authenticity of the recipe as the more highbrow amongst you will claim we should have made our own curry paste. (Incidentally i did at one time ask how she made the paste assuming this was how things were done, and was met with a look of incredulity followed by the question “how do you make that ketchup you put on your burgers?” hmmm, fair point – turns out everyone buys the paste fresh in Thailand, you can even get the common thai brand name pastes in Uk mainstream grocers these days – much like i can get my ketchup in Thailand!). If you want to read more about the in’s and out’s of thai curry pastes check this post out at

This curry can be done mild or spicy, just alter the amount of curry paste you use. The green colour is from the chili in the curry paste so you can see from the above photo that our’s was on the mild side. I think this curry is really about the eggplant. Maybe my taste buds deceive me but the white eggplant has a taste i find very reminiscent of a mild liquorice/aniseed flavour, i could be mistaken but that’s how i find it. Anyway, if you need to impress someone with thai cooking this is the ideal meal as it seems pretty hard to do wrong and everyone has heard of it. This is how it goes:

Ingredients (serves 2)

Chicken Breast 400g
Coconut Cream 21/2 cups
Green Curry Paste 2 Tbsp
Vegetable Oil 1 Tbsp
Palm Sugar 1.5 Tbsp
White Egg Plant 200g
Small Egg Plant 100g
Sweet Basil 1/2 cup
Red Chili 2no
Fish Sauce 2 Tbsp

Preparation (5 minutes)

Slice the chicken into strips.
Cut the white egg plant into quarters.
Slice chili into strips

Cooking (15 minutes)

  1. Add the vegetable oil and curry paste to a high sided pot and heat on a low heat. Cook the curry paste for two to three minutes until you can smell it.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of coconut cream into the pot slowly stirring as you go, blending the curry paste with the coconut cream.
  3. Once the curry paste is blended add the chicken to the coconut cream and stir whilst cooking for three to four minutes until the chicken begins to change colour.
  4. Once the colour of the chicken changes add the remaining coconut cream and bring the pot to a simmer.
  5. Allow the coconut cream and curry paste to simmer with the chicken for a further minute then add palm sugar and the fish sauce. Stir in.
  6. Add both the white and small egg plant into the pot, simmer for five minutes until the vegetable softens.
  7. Add the basil and chili to the mix, turn off the heat, mix everything together and serve.