I learned to make this Thai Green Coconut Curry in Chiang Mai, Thailand, by man named Basil! Catalina and I travelled to Chiang Mai to experience a day in the life of a Mahout (elephant caregiver). Before we go any further, if you ever find yourself in Chiang Mai, or Thailand for that matter, you MUST go to Patara Elephant Farm. It was by far one of, if not the pinnacle, highlights of our 5 week journey throughout South East Asia. You’ll spend the day caring for beautiful, rescued Asian elephants, trekking through the Thai jungle with them, feeding them, bathing them, swimming in rivers with them and eating on banana leaves. It’s the closest you’ll get to living a scene from the Jungle Book. Amazing experience! In fact, you can see more of our trip in our Go Pro Video Here.

Patara Elephant Park Thailand Chiang Mai

It was during our stay in Chiang Mai that a fellow traveller recommended doing a Thai cooking class. We both have a deep love of Thai food and culture that goes back many years so we jumped at the idea of it.  Basil’s Thai Cookery School had outstanding reviews on Trip Advisor (see for yourself) and he had availability the next day so we signed up. Along with Patara, Basil’s was one of the best decisions we made on our trip. The day consisted of a guided trip to the local market to source our produce and learn about the different Thai ingredients. Basil know’s his stuff and gave us a rundown of the ingredients, their tastes, flavour profiles, textures and even their medicinal qualities. I think he was trying to appeal to the Paleo in my by mentioning Turmeric’s anti-inflamatory properties or the fact that ginger is a natural stomach pain reliever. I loved every second of the market and couldn’t wait to start cooking. Basil’s was, and still is, my only “formal” cooking education! That makes Basil the best cooking instructor I’ve ever had!!! Thanks dude!

We were allowed to create three dishes from a menu card. I chose Green Papaya Salad, Green Coconut Curry and Sticky Rice with Mango. Everything we made that afternoon was unbelievably delicious. In fact, the green coconut curry was the best I’ve ever had to date. It was pure magic! All of the spices, flavours, aromatics and textures harmoniously married together in the creaminess of the coconut milk. It was enough to make me swoon! I was in love… with the curry of course! Though Basil’s a good-looking dude, no doubt!

One thing I will point out is that Thai recipes can be extremely unhealthy. Most dishes call for obscene amounts of sugar and refined oils. Basil’s weren’t too bad though! I eased back on a bit of the sugar when I cooked in the class. The beauty, however, is that Thai recipes easily adapt to Paleo-friendly versions without losing any flavour. Just about any Thai recipe, curry or otherwise, that calls for Palm sugar can be replaced with honey. The same goes for recipes that call for vegetable oil, which can be replaced with coconut oil. In fact, I would even go out on a limb and say that they taste better with coconut oil and honey!

Thai Coconut Green Curry Chicken

Instead of traditional white jasmine rice, try it with my cauliflower rice recipe. But leave out the lime and cilantro on this one. Or, serve it overtop shredded cabbage. Yum!

The recipe I’m sharing here is my Paleo friendly version of Basil’s Green Coconut Curry. It is an adapted recipe to which I owe Basil a great deal of gratitude. I’ve been making it over-and-over for the better part of a year! Coconut Curry is the gift that keeps on giving. Every time it tastes a little bit different, a little bit better. Feel free to play around with the accompanying vegetables but PLEASE remain true to the technique.

3 things set an amazing coconut curry apart from all the others:

  1. The Curry Paste. You need an excellent curry paste for this recipe. You can make your own and I have provided Basil’s recipe here for you to try. It is amazing and easy enough to do by hand with a bit of elbow grease. Or, you can buy good curry pastes at the store. Just please be sure to pick one that is all-natural and has the ingredients listed in Basil’s paste. These are unavoidable and form the foundation of the dish.
  2. The technique of toasting the spices in the oil is CRUCIAL. You must release the essential oils from the paste for maximum flavour. Also, be sure to cook the chicken in a little bit of coconut milk before adding the veggies. It is important to continuously taste for seasoning before you add the veggies because once their in, there’s no going back.
  3. Prepare, wash and cut all of your veggies and meat before you begin. This dish comes together very quickly and can easily burn if your stuck chopping stuff while you’re cooking.

I hope to make a video recipe of this Green Coconut Curry very soon so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime…

Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,
Ronny

Thai Coconut Green Curry Chicken
Basil's Thai Green Coconut Curry - Paleo
Print Recipe
- This recipe is intended for a single serving. Adjust the measurements as needed by simply changing the servings on this recipe plugin doohickey thingy here...- Basil's recipe uses 2 tbsp. pea eggplant. These are not easily found in my neck of the woods so I did not include them. However, I encourage you to venture to your nearest Asian market to find them.-I've substituted Basil's use of baby corn (not paleo) for green bell peppers.
Servings
1 person
Servings
1 person
Thai Coconut Green Curry Chicken
Basil's Thai Green Coconut Curry - Paleo
Print Recipe
- This recipe is intended for a single serving. Adjust the measurements as needed by simply changing the servings on this recipe plugin doohickey thingy here...- Basil's recipe uses 2 tbsp. pea eggplant. These are not easily found in my neck of the woods so I did not include them. However, I encourage you to venture to your nearest Asian market to find them.-I've substituted Basil's use of baby corn (not paleo) for green bell peppers.
Servings
1 person
Servings
1 person
Ingredients
Basil's Green Coconut Curry - Paleo
  • 1 tbsp green curry paste
  • 100 gr sliced chicken Substitute turkey, shrimp or dense veggie like squash
  • 1 Chinese eggplant cubed (Basil’s recipe calls for 2 eggplants – quartered. He used a Japanese variety. However, I prefer Chinese because it is less bitter, cooks faster and is readily available at most markets. You can substitute Indian eggplant or any other small variety you like.
  • 1/2 green bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch irregular squares
  • 1/4 cup sweet basil leaves You can use Holy Basil or Thai basil. Do not use common, household variety of Basil here. There is a significant difference in taste.
  • 1 tbsp kaffir lime leaves (stems removed) Twist the leaves in your hand before adding to release the aromatics. I normally add about 2-3 leaves per serving. They are amazingly arromatic.
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • 1.5 tbsp honey (Basil uses Palm sugar – which is not a Paleo ingredient)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (Basil uses vegetable oil – again, not Paleo)
  • 1 tsp sliced red chili for garnish
Servings: person
Instructions
Green Curry Paste
  1. With a mortar and pestle, pound cumin, coriander seeds and peppercorns together. Add in chilies and salt and bash.
  2. Once chilies are finely bashed, add all of the remaining ingredients except the shrimp paste. Pound until broken down into a fine paste.
  3. Once the ingredients are smoothly bashed, add the shrimp paste and continue to pound with the pestle until thoroughly combined.
  4. The green curry paste is now ready to be used in a variety of dishes including coconut curries and soups. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for a few weeks. Maybe longer?
Coconut Green Curry
  1. In a large wok or deep skillet, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil over med-heat. Add green curry paste and stir continuously until the scent of the curry paste perfumes the air (about 30 sec to 1 minute).
  2. Add ½ cup of coconut milk and continue to stir until a green oil surfaces (approximately 1-2 minutes).
  3. Add sliced turkey and stir continuously until cooked and no longer pink in the middle (approximately 3-4 minutes).
  4. Add in the remaining coconut milk, eggplant, and bell peppers. Cover with a lid and stir regularly until the eggplant have softened and are fork tender (approximately 6-7 minutes). ***Basil doesn't call for the wok to be covered with a lid, however I have found that putting a lid over the skillet allows the veggies to steam and doesn't allow for the milk to evaporate and the curry to dry-out.
  5. Once the veggies are cooked, add fish sauce and honey. Stir to thoroughly incorporate and to allow the honey to dissolve into the curry.
  6. Remove from heat and add the sweet basil leaves and kaffir limes leaves. Stir gently.
  7. Serve overtop of shredded white cabbage, cauliflower rice, or on its own. Garnish with a few slices of red chili and a few more sprigs of fresh basil.
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