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  • Writer's pictureMolly

Red Curry Recipe and Shopping List

curry paste ingredients

This is a copy of the recipe and shopping list I provide for my cooking class. Please use it in your homemade curry cooking endeavors! If you think you'd benefit from instruction, please contact me to schedule a remote cooking class!

Shopping list for Thai Red Curry

In terms of brands, I feel most strongly about the coconut milk and the curry paste. But get what you can. For the coconut milk, getting one in a tetra box is best.

If you can’t find the Thai ingredients at your local store you can get them on Amazon. I made a list on my website of the brands we used at Le Cordon Blue, which include photos.

  • White or brown rice

  • Arroy D coconut milk

  • Mae Ploy red curry paste

  • Fish sauce

  • Palm sugar

  • Winter squash/pumpkin of your choice (I like kabocha because it’s similar to Thai pumpkin and cooks quickly)

  • Thai basil

  • Red bell pepper

  • ½ lbs Chicken thighs or breast

Thai Curry Recipe

Serves 4


1 ½ cup coconut milk

2-4 Tbsp red curry paste

500g chicken thigh, boneless, skinless, cut into 1.5-inch cubes (if using chicken breast, cut into ½-inch strips and marinade in ½ Tbsp fish sauce for 15 mins)

2 cups kabocha squash, in 1.5 inch cubes

½ cup red pepper, similarly sized to the chicken and pumpkin

2 Tbsp fish sauce

2-3 Tbsp palm sugar, chopped

1 cup water


1 cup Thai basil

Mise en place

Fresh Ingredient prep

Pumpkin – cubed into cubes that comfortably fit on a spoon

Basil, cleaned and de-stemmed, keep wrapped in a damp towel in the fridge to maintain freshness

Chicken – cut into spoon sized cubes

Red pepper – sliced to spoon size

Sauces and Seasoning

Measure out your coconut milk, palm sugar, fish sauce and curry paste


Measure out 2-4 T red curry paste and add to a small bowl, for a less spicy version, use less paste. Measure out 1 ½ cups coconut milk. From there, take out 2-4 T of coconut milk and mix it into the curry paste so that it is looser and pourable.

Take 3 T of coconut milk and add it to a non-stick fry pan, turn the heat to medium.

Watch as the water evaporates from the pan, stir it around to ensure it doesn’t burn. When the water has evaporated and you’re left with only coconut oil, add in your curry paste. Stir fry your curry paste until it becomes very aromatic and orange oil begins to separate from the paste. You will need to add a little coconut milk from time to time to keep the paste from burning. Don’t walk away from your paste, stay here and move it around the pan until you see the orange oil. You will need to stop stirring from time to time to check on the oil development, but keep watching it, it is very easy to burn.

At the appearance of orange oil, move to the next step which is seasoning. Add 50% of your measured seasonings: fish sauce and palm sugar. Let the palm sugar melt into the curry paste and stir it to combine, and stir-fry for another minute. This caramelizes the palm sugar a bit and develops flavor.

Next add in your chicken chunks and stir fry them in the curry paste until the exterior of the chicken has seized.

Next, add in the remaining coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.

At the boil, add in your pumpkin, bring back to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.

When pumpkin is 95% cooked (5-8 minutes) taste to check the seasoning. It likely needs the remaining fish sauce and palm sugar. Add them and bring the curry back to the boil. Gently stirring to ensure the fishiness of the fish sauce has reduced and the palm sugar has fully melted and incorporated. Taste and again and adjust if necessary. If your curry is too intense (too spicy or perhaps bitter from the intensity of her herbs) add coconut milk, little by little until it is to your liking.

Add in your bell pepper and cook at a boil for 1 minute. Then at a full boil, stir in your Thai basil. Get all of the basil submerged in the boiling liquid to keep it from turning brown. Boil it for about half a minute.

Turn off the heat and serve over steamed rice. Enjoy!

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