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Thai green curry

After my trip to Sydney, I decided I needed to learn some of the basics of making Thai food, if I’m going to get anything as spicy as I enjoyed (and as much as I like) around here. Like all cuisines, it starts with gathering the proper ingredients. Here in Paris, we have Tang Frères, a large Asian supermarket which is pretty well-stocked. (Although being Paris, it seems like it’s required that they’re out of the one essential item that I’m looking for.)

I hunted down most of the ingredients on my list, but paused at the curry pastes on the shelf. Was that cheating? Did Thai cooks use curry paste, or were they shunned and it was considered infinitely better to make your own from scratch? I was in a dilemma since I wanted to hit the flavors I was looking for, but could not find lime leaves, which seems like an essential ingredient from my reading. So I put the message out on Twitter from the supermarket aisle, and right away, all the responses said the curry pastes are fine – and sometimes preferable, if you can’t find the right ingredients.

shrimp paste Thai eggplant

I was happy to found all those wonderful little Thai eggplants, red peppers, and even fresh green peppercorns, but decided to try the curry paste they had. (The cashier warned me it was “Très piquante!” so I told her I was from California and to bring it on, which made her chuckle.) And I just want to go on the record that I am officially addicted to Thai pea eggplants, which have a snappy little crunch when you bite into them. I think they should be sold everywhere.

Thai ingredients for green currypiment rouge
sweet potatoesgreen curry/coconut milk

One of the interesting things about being a foreigner, living in another country, is that if you want a certain cuisine, it’s up to you to figure out how to make it and track down the ingredients. But instead of complaining, it’s actually fun and a good exercise in researching and learning about new ingredients, cultures, and various global cuisines. And even a chance to explore a new neighborhood. Of course, it’s hard to match a cuisine with a country if you’re not actually in that country. But you can get good French food in America, delicious North African fare in France, and I’ve had the best Lebanese food of my life in Mexico. And I’m happy to report you (and I) can make authentic-tasting Thai fare no matter where we are.

vegetables for Thai curry fresh pineapple

I don’t know what kind of red chile peppers I got – you can see them in the picture – but they were somewhat mild. But the great thing about being an adult is that you can do pretty much whatever you please. So please feel free to use another kind of chile, which you can use to adjust the heat. And I did feel like I scored when I found these ears of baby corn, which were too cute to pass up on a subsequent visit. (But still no lime leaves!)

baby corn

When I was reading up on Thai food, I looked at several articles and sites such as She Simmers, Fine Cooking, Chez Pim, Thai Food & Travel, as well as David Thompson’s excellent book, Thai Food. Like me, feel free to adapt the curry ingredients to what’s available where you live. Next up: I am going to make my own curry powder.

A good curry should be like a spot-on Caesar salad: one flavor or ingredient shouldn’t dominate the others. I do think the tiny pea-sized eggplants are vital since they add that an unusual crunch to the curry, but other vegetables such as baby corn, asparagus, carrots, or any relatively firm vegetable that will take a little bit of stewing and not break down completely, would be great. My French guests gobbled it all up, spices and all, and even though pineapple in a savory dish surprised them, they liked the way it cooled things down. And so did I.

Thai green curry vegetables Thai green curry

Green Curry with Chicken

There’s plenty of room for swapping out ingredients, such as Japanese eggplant slices for the Thai eggplants, and I’ve even read that some people add peas in place of the pea eggplants (which I would add at the last minute), so you can use your intuition and make your curry responsive to what’s available where you are. Instead of getting stressed out about exact quantities, if you use about 3 cups of your favorite vegetables or so, you should be fine. Sharp-eyes will notice that I used snow peas in my curry, but I now omit them since they didn’t add what I thought they would. (They also turn a drab green color when stewed.) You can customize the spiciness by using different chiles, and for vegetarians, omit the shrimp paste and use firm tofu in place of the chicken or just add more vegetables, such as green beans, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, or bok choy. Water can replace the stock, although you might want to tip in a little extra coconut milk to boost the flavor.
  • 2 cups (500ml) canned Thai coconut milk*
  • 1/4 cup (70g) green curry paste
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
  • 2 cups (265g) peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 4 slices, galangal
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thai shrimp paste, roasted** (kapi), or Asian fish sauce
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 3/4 cup (85g), pea eggplants
  • 8 Thai , eggplants, quartered
  • 2 skinless chicken breast filets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 red chiles, slivered, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 cups (300g) diced pineapple
  • 1 cup (15g) loosely packed basil leaves
  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat half of the coconut milk and reduce it by about half. Add the curry paste and cook it another minute, stirring constantly to meld the flavors.
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk, the chicken stock, sweet potatoes, galangal, and shrimp paste. Trim off the top one-third of the lemongrass (the very white part can be discarded) and cut the lower parts crosswise into two batons, then crush them under the side of a cleaver or with a rolling pin and add them.
  • Bring the mixture to a low boil and simmer for five minutes. Add the eggplants and cook for another three minutes.
  • Stir in the pieces of chicken breast, and chiles, and simmer until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through. Add the pineapple and simmer another minute, then stir in the basil leaves and serve.Serving: Curry is best served with rice, to balance the heat. Be sure to advise guests not to eat the pieces of galangal or lemongrass, which remain resolutely firm.


Garnishes could include additional sliced chiles, lime wedges, or a few wisps of cilantro leaves.
Variation: To make pork curry, simmer 1 3/4 pounds (800 g) of cubed pork shoulder in salted water with a small onion halved and a few cloves or star anise, until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Then add the pork instead of the chicken to the curry and use the braising liquid in lieu of the stock called for in the recipe.
*Thai coconut milk comes in various sizes depending on where you live and by brand. You can use one can or carton, which weighs in at 13-16 ounces.
**Some Thai cooks roast the dried shrimp paste in a 400ºF (200ºC) oven, wrapped in foil, for about ten minutes. I did that the subsequent times I’ve made this and don’t know if it made all that much of a difference, but I now do it as a rule.

Related Posts and Links

Green Curry with Chicken or Catfish (Chez Pim)

Green Curry with Pork (Kosma Loha-unchit)

Chicken in Brown Gravy Over Rice (She Simmers)

Thai Green Curry Paste (Closet Cooking)

Create Your Own Thai Curry (Fine Cooking)

Thai Green Curry (Eat Love Drink)

Thai Red Curry Coconut Soup (Soup Chick)

Thai Green Curry (Rasa Malaysia)

How to Make Asian Rice

Cold Noodles with Peanut Sauce

My Mortar and Pestle


    • anon

    Hi, David. Your curry looks great!

    For kaffir lime leaves, have you looked in the frozen section? That’s where they are in the Asian market where I shop in Nantes, Asian et Caraïbes:

    For anyone in the region, Asian et Caraïbes is a fantastic place. It’s smaller than Tang Frères but still very well stocked (case in point – the lime leaves), with many more products than listed on their web site. They also have a smaller partner boutique downtown called Indochine, in the historic district and just a few steps away from the Bouffay tram stop.

    • Natashia@foodonpaper

    This is one of my favourite dishes, so mush so that I had it for dinner last night. The last time I made it was a bit of a fail. I think it’s because I couldn’t find all the ingredients needed, so left them out – big mistake. I’m keen to give this one another go..

    • Susan Walter

    By coincidence we had Thai Green Curry a couple of days ago – made with a commercial paste and boosted as we saw fit – the paste turned out to be so mild I could eat it of a teaspoon straight out of the jar. Our local Asian grocers are the Paris Store in Tours Nord or the Asia Store in Poitiers. Both proper Asian supermarkets and very inexpensive. The Paris Store has quite a few outlets in France.

    • The Celiac Husband

    For the Paste, while still in Canada, I just threw all the ingredients and a touch of liquid into my Vitamix. Turned out fantastic.

    After having paid a fortune in La Rochelle for a heavy duty Kitchen Aid mixer, I am afraid to look for a Vitamix blender….must make by hand.

    • texmex

    In Switzerland, Migros (supermarket) has kits with everything but the meat kit, and it is very easy to make this dish. You are reminding me that I love this dish and need to program for very soon. Thanks

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Susan: I do shop at Paris Store (for readers elsewhere, it’s another Asian supermarket in Paris) and I know friends who live outside of Paris are happy they’re expanding into other cities and regions. I did ask which of the curry pastes was hotter and the woman at the store said they were all the same. Don’t know if that’s true, but the green one I got was pretty hot.

    anon: Thanks for the suggestion. I did look in the freezer area and they didn’t have any, although they had fresh kaffir limes and have seen some recipes that use the skins of those in lieu of the leaves.

    • Rylla

    Great minds think alike and all that – I served yellow curry with chicken last night, last minute – no shopping time. So, made my own curry paste – was working from the larder and used lemon zest and juice as I didn’t have lemon grass. Love your comment about being an adult and doing what I want! Also went easier on the chili pepper – we live in Switzerland where almost nothing is spicy and so went easy for my guests but had chili avail to garnish – it was delish – the pineapple made it! For me the best part was chopping the ingredients into a paste. I don’t have a mortar and pestle large enough so used an ulu/mezzaluna. The smell, the color, the process – why I love to cook.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      One thing is that cooking (and cuisines) change over time, and people often adapt to their particular circumstances. Reading David Thompson’s book gives an interesting overview of the variations and evolution of Thai cooking.

      Interestingly, my French partner loves spicy food. When I sort of apologized for making it really spicy, he waved me away and said that he loves spicy food.

    • jobeth_b

    David, you can also try lemon leaves — different but adds the citrus oil element. I also love julienned bamboo shoot for a mellow balance to the intensity.

    • ParisGrrl

    David, I don’t know if dried kaffir lime leaves will work for you, but I found small bags of those last week in the spice section at the little ethnic supermarket across from the Stalingrad metro stop. The name escapes me, but pop out of the metro and you can see it across the street…kind of scary-looking place but they have interesting imported foods. They also had kilo bags of what I am praying is actual brown sugar, for 3 euros, in with the other sugars (BekSul brand, all other labeling was in a language that I can’t even identify). I haven’t tested my bag yet, but it looks promising!

    • Angela

    By now I should know better than to read your blog at odd hours that impede curry-making! I know what I’m making tomorrow, at least.

    Pea eggplants are also great when pickled; they retain that pleasing crunch. I’m shamelessly guilty of eating nothing but rice + pickled eggplants for meals, given the chance.

    • shelby

    Thanks for this David! I actually made green curry last week, inspired by some baby Japanese eggplants at the farmer’s market. My favorite combination is Japanese eggplant, onion, and red bell – and I cook it long enough for the eggplant to melt in your mouth. I’ve never thought of sweet potato though, will definitely have to try that.

    • Vidya

    Living in Sydney, good, inexpensive Thai food is extremely easy to find – however, drive a few hours north and it just gets progressively worse. However, there’s not much in the way of Mexican, not even in the cities, so I make my own. Still trying to figure out where to get masa for tamales – not too keen on buying it off Amazon. FYI, on the odd occasion that I do make my own Thai rather than ordering in, I would be happy to use a good curry paste, but being vegetarian, it’s difficult to find an animal-free one that still packs a flavour punch. I’ve had far better results making my own, subbing things like touches of miso or seaweed which are themselves undetectable but add the umami that’s missing.

    • Jayne

    This looks great! I made a curry last night that my family literally gobbled. It all began with blackening a dozen bay leaves (I have a bay). WOuld love to have a whole cookbook on curry!

    • Heather (Heather’s Dish)

    the broth is so creamy and i’m now dying for some great curry. i’ve never attempted to make anything besides a quick stir-fry at home when it comes to asian food, but this sounds so simple!

    • maria

    As for Tang, best time to find most fresh products there is shop wednesday. But those frozen sections there are little bit mess and its better to go on that small shop on right side of main one if you look frozen herbs and mondays its only one open to public :)
    they usually ahve lime leaves in both shops but in big one, you better be ready dig in that freezer section where all frozen herbs/spices are.. Those thai curry pastes what they sell, all are good but panang is most hot, i should know, i have that, red and green ones in fridge. they taste good just like that but if you ahve some fresh herbs, fish sauce etc to perk up fresh flavor they are even better. I do sometimes pastes myself but commonly i use those as a base and add fresh ones on top. I still need courage to take those dryed squids home…

    • Isabelle

    This looks great. I made a similar trip to my local Asian market a few years ago to attempt Thai food, and it was so much fun! I’m really impressed by the way you sliced off the little brown bits from your pineapple – so effective and so pretty-looking too!

    • Jane in Denmark

    I love Thai green curry with fish and have been looking for the right recipe to make it myself – thank you for the inspiration. And this is a great way to try out every different kind of eggplant – king of vegetables – in the Asian stores.

    • Wina Miranda

    Hi David,

    It’s kinda cool to see more “ethnic” food in the site. Just tried your French tart-shell and it was a super successful first try. My house keeper even said “C’est tres bon”….

    On lime leaves, NEVER replace it with dried ones, as they’re flavorless. If ever you find the fresh (or fresh frozen) ones , buy a bunch and just freeze them (they’ll last for at least a year). There are gazillions Asian (including Malay & Indonesian) meals that use lime leaves. They’ll become handy.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Curiously, I was at the Paris Supermarket (a large Asian supermarket here, at the Belleville address) and they had ‘fresh’ lime leaves in the freezer, for only 90 centimes. I wasn’t going right home, so I didn’t buy them. But good to know that’s a place that stocks them.

    • Ariadne

    I make Thai curry regularly and it’s really delicious. Never used the pea-sized eggplants that you mention, though – so cute!

    Your curry looks just amaaaaazing.

    • The Mistress of Spices

    There’s nothing like Thai food! I’ve found both fresh and frozen kaffir lime leaves, which I think are really essential to get that authentic Thai taste, at Paris Store and other spots in Belleville. The dried leaves don’t really cut it though, in my experience. In any case, my husband and I are moving from Paris to Bangkok in a couple of months and I am so excited to have ready access to all of these wonderful ingredients and food! Do let us know if ever you do a visit/tour there.

    • Linda

    When I first started cooking Thai food all I could find was dried kaffir lime leaves. Now it is quite easy to find fresh lime leaves as well as whole kaffir limes. The fresh leaves freeze well and you could just pick up some in your travels and bring them home and freeze them.
    You could also source kaffir lime trees from a garden centre. My daughter lives in San Diego and she has one in her garden. I have grown meyer lemon trees here in Vancouver and I bring them inside in the winter.

    • Thanh @ eat little bird

    I love making curries but always make the curry paste from scratch. I have this fear that using a store-bought curry paste might ruin the dish if the curry paste is not that great to start with. But I suppose if you can find a store-bought version that you like, dinner will be on the table much faster! I am addicted to kaffir lime leaves as they impart the most wonderful citrus notes into your dishes. I always buy a large bagful and freeze them.

    • Margie

    sounds delicious!

    • Linda P

    What a super-awesome coincidince to find this post today! We are visiting our son in San Mateo and he ordered this (take out) last night from a local restaurant here. First time I’ve ever had it and it was memorable. Was just thinking about it when your post came in. Loved reading this!

    • Malini

    Hi David,

    The curry looks lovely.

    Kaffir lime leaves are elusive here in Massachusetts and I miss them, as they were readily available in Dubai where I lived previously. I use the rinds of organic limes in the place of lime leaves (read that in a cookbook but I forget which one). It’s not quite the same, but is a reasonable substitute. Seems you have heard this but not tried as yet…?

    Happy cooking.


    • Val

    I have long loved Thai food, but at the many great Thai restaurants here in the Washington DC area, I feel the heat overtakes the other flavors. Yes, I am a wuss when it comes to spice level! I am going to try making my own curry paste for that reason.
    What is so great about being a gardener is that you can grow your own when ingredients are difficult to come by. I grew lemongrass this summer, which is now tucked in my freezer. I purchased the lime plant for cooking, and as a bonus it is a really attractive houseplant. (Now I need a curry tree for my Indian food!) I also grew Tunisian peppers in my garden. Maybe those eggplants will grace the garden next summer.

    • Ilke

    It is always fun to track down the ingredients. I hesitate at the same point too, should I make my own, should I buy the ready to use Thai, Indian or Turkish spice mixes? End up keeping the ready to use ones handy and make my own if the mood strikes. I don’t worry about it anymore.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I think that’s a good attitude. I mean, if it comes down to whether someone might not make the dish at all, or use what they can get their hands on, I think it’s better to try your best and not stress about it. As someone who has seen a lot of .. um, interesting interpretations of various cuisines, I think in respect to the cuisine, one should try as best they can to do it right. But I love going to ethnic markets and trying new things out – it’s always a lot of fun.

    • Sharon T

    That looks so good! We love Thai food and have a large Asian market that I love to shop at. I have never seen the pea eggplants though, I will have to look for them. I am very intrigued by the way you cut the pineapple in the photo. Is that to get all the eyes out? I have never seen that before. I may be making this for my client this week. Thank you!

    • sandra

    Looks yummy! I have some genuine Thai recipes somewhere, from a friend whose husband was Thai, I’ll have to dig them out.
    Off topic David, I saw the Woody Allen movie ‘Midnight in Paris’ recently. Well, I was disgusted. How can you have a movie set in Paris and not feature any nice pastries? I was shocked to the core!

    • Kate @ Savour Fare

    I had a similar experience making Thai curry in Los Angeles last fall — still unfamiliar neighborhoods, ingredients whose names you can’t read (Thai markets in North Hollywood don’t have signs in English), and some delicious results. I used Pim’s directions in making my own curry paste (by hand, in my granite molcajete), and I have to say, it was totally worth it (though I might cheat next time and use a food processor. It was a lot of pounding.) And the ingredients were fairly straightforward — lemongrass, cilantro, shallots, chilis. You could totally do it!

    • Laura @MotherWouldKnow

    What a great post! And well timed for me, as I have some lemon grass that I grew even though I had no idea how to use it. Also, green curry chicken is one of the world’s best comfort foods (which I define as the food you want or crave on an emotional level when you’re feeling like you want a hug and not just something that you eat because it’s on the menu or easy to prepare.)

    • lindsey

    Mmmm….Lebanese food in Mexico? What restaurant are you referring to?

    • la domestique

    It’s so gratifying to explore a new cuisine, hunting for ingredients and trying to figure out what someone of that culture would really use (no shortcuts). Even in the U.S. I get confused in Asian markets where it often seems to no one speaks any English and the product is never labeled in English. Your meal looks fantastic and those peppers are gorgeous!

    • deborah goldman

    Hi David, just adore your blog, never fail to read it. Off to Paris tomorrow for Paris Photo, which is at the Grand Palais this year, so a whole new area for us. We are staying nearby and would love some restaurant recommendations.Nothing fancy, just great food.
    I keep on meaning to send you my mother-in-law’s lammington recipe, a South African one this time, which in our opinion are the best we’ve tasted. I will do so on my return to London.

    • maria

    The Kaffir lime leaves are usually in the frozen section. As for a vegetarian version… no matter what I do to my green curry and I make it a lot, if I don’t have fish sauce it tastes like nothing. The fish sauce give it it’s texture and depth that nothing else brings. For me, it is an essential ingredient. Thanks!

    • Eva

    In Thailand, you see huge mounds of pre-made curry paste (the way you see about 10 different types of mole’ in the mercados in Mexico). When I took a Thai cooking class, I was told very few Thai cooks make their own curry paste – and I use Mae Ploy. I wouldnt be surprised if you could find it in Paris – it’s THE brand – you see it all over Chinese, Thai, Lao shops in various Chinatowns in NYC.

    as a result, I can whip up a green or red curry dinner in under 1/2 hour. When I want to get crazy with intricate recipes, I make tamarind shrimp using the block of tamarind, not the pre-made sauce in the jar – makes a huge difference.

    • shez

    I love a good thai green curry and am lucky enough to have a kaffir lime plant in my front yard – the limes themselves are near inedible but the leaves are a treat. If you can get your hands on some, they add a wonderful fragrance to rice puddings and custards, or even steamed sticky rice (which, incidentally can be served as a side to a curry).

    As for snowpeas, I normally toss them in a couple of minutes before serving so they steam at the top of the curry and retain their crunch.

    • Meagan

    This looks great David. I love the pictures. One of the best things about Thai food is that it’s so easy usually and full of delectable vegetables!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    deborah: I don’t live over in that area so can’t really recommend any restaurants. It’s not really a residential neighborhood, so you might want to head out a bit.

    Eva: Good analogy, the Mexican mole pastes that are sold in the markets. I was in Thailand quite a while back and would love to someday return!

    maria: I read on Pim’s site (or somewhere) that one should be wary of certain Thai shrimp pastes and they are not always made of 100% shrimp. This was the only one available, but I like fish sauce very much. And you’re right, it adds a certain je ne sais quoi!

    • lo

    Gosh, this is making me hungry. It’s been a while since I made a green curry, but it would be the perfect time with so much end-of-season eggplant at the market here.

    Totally jealous of that baby corn!

    • Ann

    I found frozen kaffir lime leaves at the Asian mart Sou Quan near Maubert-Mutualité. It’s a great option for Asian ingredients in the 5e. I also found pea eggplants and Thai white eggplants at the shop. And curry paste!

    • Anne

    I found dried lime leaves at Tang. Now back in the US, the Asian supermarket nearest me has most of what I need but no galangal. It’s always something. Sigh.

    • Tara B.

    this looks so fantastic!

    do tell — what is name of the Lebanese restaurant in mexico?!?!

    • Ed

    You should try it with home made coconut milk, which is really easy to make. While you are at it toast a coconut first and then make a sorbet from the milk. Believe me it is worth the effort.

    • Michael Honegger

    Try the freezer section at Tang Freres again. I got the lime leaves there and have kept them frozen as needed. They must have been out of stock!

    Thanks for a great recipe…I cook Thai all the time after living in Bangkok.

    • Jim G

    Living in LA, where there’s terrific Thai food, I’ve decided it’s easier to just go out to a restaurant when I have a Thai chili fix. But how does one say “Bring it on” in French?

    • monica


    Herbies spices in Sydney sells dried kaffir lime leaves and happily packs things for export. My daughter lived in Reims last year while attending Uni there and Herbies sent several care packages of lime leaves, curry powders and laksa powder (which is v yummy). Herbies website is and next time you are is Sydney it is worth a visit – an Aladdins cave of all things spicy. Monica

    • Martin G

    David Thompson has a new book out called Thai Street Food, which is more approachable than the first one. You’ll want to cook nearly every dish.

    • Tom L

    Anne who can’t find galangal: we always found tons of it in a Chinese herb store. Not a market, but the apothecary where they sell it for various medical uses.

    When I lived in Seattle, I never could find kaffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen, and we have lots of excellent Thai and Asian restaurants. Now that I’m in San Diego, it’s nice to know they can grow on a tree in one’s backyard here. Guess I’ll have to do some local sniffing around! Thanks, all.

    • Kiran @

    I need kaffir lime leaves and I am good to go. Curries are the best during winter :)

    • Suzan Gross

    Loved your post on Thai food. I just made a Red Curry Beef recipe last night, fortunately had also made baked pears with saba that cooled our mouths. Next time you go go London check out the Borough Market. If the guy making the Thai green curry is there don;t pass it up!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Dear All: I did find frozen lime leaves at the Paris Store (in Belleville) so am good to go!

    Suzan: That’s neat that someone at the market in London sells homemade curry paste. What a good idea.

    Anne: I bought a few knobs of it, sliced it and froze them. They’re likely not as good as fresh, but I want to keep them on hand for subsequent Thai curries. And there will be more..

    Tara and Lindsey: There’s a large Lebanese (and Arabic) community in some Mexican cities. I was in Merida and don’t recall the name of the place, but was surprised to find it, because I didn’t know at the time about the number of immigrants that had settled in Mexico.

    • Laurence

    She is Thai herself and recommends the use of commercial thai curry paste. To quote her: ” If you’re blessed enough to have all of the necessary fresh ingredients at your disposal, by all means, make your Thai curry pastes from scratch. […]
    But if you happen to live where these ingredients aren’t always available fresh, I strongly encourage the use of commercial curry pastes. In this situation, using commercial curry pastes should not be considered a stigma or a threat to one’s ego, but a deliberate choice wisely made in the face of not-so-promising alternate routes.”

    • Laurence

    And yes I now notice you’ve mentioned her in your post.

    I am probably falling asleep from the huge portion of panang curry i’ve ate for my lunch.

    • Aarushi Sharma

    Insane Cooking Skills. Check out the quick hands this guy demonstrates while preparing some egg fried rice.

    • PJ

    My first time commenting about your blog. I have been following yours for a long time. You are my favorite blogger. I am Thai living in the USA for 41 years. I use curry paste in the can. It is acceptable. Mae Sri brand is mostly available in USA. There are several curry paste: green, red, panang, prik khing, massaman, karee, etc. Red is good with chicken and bamboo shoots. Panang is better with beef but you must have kaffir leaves. You must try prik khing. Use pork and green beans. I cooked this for many French friends when I visited France. They loved it. However, I would like to mention that for us when making the green or red curry dish, we don’t add too many vegetable in it. It might be the pea eggplants and/or the bigger ones that look like small green tomatoes. Also, we use green peppers to garnish the green curry one and the red with the red curry. Just a comment from a Thai. You must go to Thailand. We have the best food!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for your comments and tips. I have been to Thailand – it’s great!

    • Arthur


    • Daniel

    Hey David,

    I believe those chilis are dutch chilis.

    • Saphir

    If you don’t find what you want at Tang, there are so many other stores you can try on both avenue d’Ivry and avenue de Choisy. Dong Nam A and Exostore on Choisy are great places to start. Exostore has a nice japanese food aisle, too, and is much cheaper than Kyoko.

    • Janice

    You really read my mind here with this post, and I’m so glad! I’ve never had curry, but I hear so much about it that I started researching it too. I have curry paste in my pantry, but everything I found said to use powder. Now I know there are gazillions of kinds of different curries. Thanks for posting this one, now I have somewhere to start. I’ve never seen those little pea eggplants, I’ll have to look for them. Also, I’ve always wanted to see the *real* baby corn cobs. I’m trying to envision growing them. The ones I use are always from a can. Great post!

    • naomi

    I’d never heard of eggplant peas, and started researching them. It appears that it may be invasive in some semi-tropical areas. Looking at pictures of the plant in flower, I think there are some weeds I may start cultivating instead of pulling up – much preferred. Thanks, David; now a bit more checking to be sure.

    • Gavrielle

    In New Zealand we’re as crazy about Thai (and other Asian) food as they are in Oz and I can buy lime leaves at my local greengrocer. Bought curry paste is the only option if you can’t find vital ingredients, but if you ever do find those lime leaves, do try making your own paste as IMO there’s absolutely no comparison. Freshly made, it has a vibrancy that paste in a jar can’t hope to compete with.

    • The Starving Student

    Everything looks so fresh and delicious. Those baby corns are adorable!

    • Shari

    Those peppers looked almost exactly like the cayenne peppers I grew in my garden this year. My lovely friend from Singapore makes wonderful curry, which is definitely different than Thai curry, but she uses curry leaves when she can find them. I don’t know exactly what they are, but they have the most heavenly savory fragrance and add a lot of flavor to curry. If anyone knows what they are, I’d love to know. They look kind of like a bay leaf, but not as long or as skinny. She finds them at the Indian market in our area, and keeps them in the freezer.

    • Hannah

    Wow, this looks great! I am currently experimenting with Thai curries, too, so this post was super-educational!

    • APCFT

    Sorry, but no way is that a Thai curry. Pineapple has no place in a green curry – it’s only used in kaeng phet pet yaang – a sweetish roast duck curry. The sweet potatoes are totally wrong, too. Potatoes (not sweet potatoes, which I’ve never seen in the market here) are used in a few curries such as matsaman kai (a Moslem-style curry from the south) and kaeng luang (yellow curry).

    The dish may taste great, but please don’t call it “Thai” – Thai-influenced or Asian-style would be far better.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I hear ya. When I moved to California from the east coast, I was shocked to see that people put Russian dressing (or mayonnaise!) on their hamburgers, as well as chicken in Caesar Salads and dried fruit in bagels. I don’t know if those need to be called “California-style” or what, but they seem to be common now, and have crept their way east, and elsewhere.

      I linked to a number of sites in the post and at the end for readers to learn more about Thai cooking, and I do recommend the David Thompson book as well.

    • Bee | Rasa Malaysia

    Hey David – thanks for the link love. Whenever I run out of ideas what to make for dinner, I make Thai curries. They are so easy and tasty, and never fails to impress. I miss the Thai food in Sydney, they get the real stuff there, unlike the tone-down version here in the US.

    • Suzan

    HI David, I think you misundestood, the guy at the Borough Market in London is making Thai Green Curry in a LARGE pan that he scoops out at sells to you for a yummy lunch or whatever! Somewhere I have a picture I will try to send it to you.

    • Aagya

    looks mouth watering & delicious….I think I have to arrange a couple of ingredients this weekend for this…

    • PJ

    The tree that produces those pea size eggplants grows real tall and full of thorns. I have one in my garden. It is not fun harvesting them.

    • Lisa

    Great you found the kaffir lime leaves in the freezer section David! you can also find them in jars or dried as others have mentioned. Having lived in Scandinavia and now the UK (originally from Australia) I can relate to your challenging adventures to find the right ingredients. As PJ from Thailand said, it’s perfectly reasonable to use jar or canned curry paste when you can’t get the right ingredients. I just make sure I always have fish sauce, brown sugar, hot birds eye chillies and kaffir lime leaves handy to boost up the flavours as some pastes are better than others. It’s about getting the right balance of sweet, salty, spicy but once you do, you’ll be in heaven – Thai food is the best! Simple steamed Thai jasmine rice is the perfect partner to a curry. Thanks for yet another inspiring and entertaining post :)

    • Brittany Rose

    YUM, that looks delicious! chicken is my favourite…I think I’ll have to try this one!

    • Lea Ann

    I’m glad to hear curry paste is “fine” since I have a pantry full. I love preparing Thai food…it seems easier to make than other Oriental cuisines. This dish sounds and looks delicious. Another bookmarked.

    • Sam

    Wow, David your curry looks fantastic. I have always liked curries ever since I was a child and my Mum would use a curry mix from a can.

    But I do sometimes struggle when making my own curries so I will re reading this post over and over again.

    Many thanks

    • Katie

    Hello David, I’m very excited about this post, but still shy about trying to cook Thai from scratch. I wanted to start out with some pastes / sauce bases but I find a lot of them have additives that don’t sound very natural. For example, I still haven’t found a tom yum base to try. Any advice?

    Also, thought I’d mention that I’m trying to grow a kaffir lime tree that I got from this guy at the Chateau de Courson Journée des plantes :ès-pépinières The next journée des plantes will be in the spring and its really fun to check out his selection.


    • Pam

    Love green curry! And love the canned pastes. They ingredients are totally clean and used at the peak of freshness–which one never *really* can get half-way around the world.

    One of my fave Thai/Lao food blogs is Manivan Larprom’s: Manivan made quite a few videos of Thai/Lao cooking that are available for free viewing, but I loved her stuff so much I bought both DVDs to support her endeavors. Her dishes and recipes very much reminded me of those that a good friend shared with me, and now I can make them forever. ☺ Sawatdee!

    • Lise

    This recipe looks great David! I love how you’re open to swapping ingredients—cooking should be about creativity! My boyfriend is from India and cooks delicious South Indian dishes using a very free-spirited approach: he cooks mostly from memory. The dishes turn out a little differently each time, but they’re always delicious. I’m looking forward to trying this one!

    • Anubhav

    Hi David, I ran into the same problem while making a green curry a few weeks ago, actually. I was about to give up hope when I was strolling through the Place Monge market when I passed by…a Thai food/ingredient vendor! She only had dried lime leaves but had everything else I needed for the meal I was making–galangal, fresh Thai basil, lemongrass, etc. in case you ever are looking again.

    • Donna

    Hi David, I love how you took the “eyes” off the pineapple! That’s just how they do it in the Philippines and it looks so pretty :)

    • Sharyn Dimmick

    I make green curry paste every summer or early fall and freeze extra. My version doesn’t call for anything too exotic and it is really good. Ingredients: green chilies, black peppercorns, one onion, garlic, one whole lime (juice, rind and everything), salt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, peanut oil, one bunch basil (Thai if you can get it, but Italian will do), and one bunch cilantro, including the roots and stems. Chop it up and throw it in your blender or food processor. No lime leaves. No shrimp paste. Try it in a pinch — if you don’t like it, you can return to jarred curry pastes or seek out the exotic bits.

    • GastroGuy

    Call me inspired!

    Gonna give this a try, as well as link to it.


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