Thai coconut curry recipe

Published June 28, 2010 12:28AM (EDT)

(Serves 6)


  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil or peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, coarsely diced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, cut into 1/8-by-2-inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Tom Ka or Tom Yum paste, available at most Asian groceries (Don't sweat it if you can't track this down -- simply omit.)
  • 2 cups lightly packed spinach leaves, stems removed before measuring
  • 1 cup stemmed fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh mint or cilantro leaves (remove stems before measuring)
  • Plus, any one of the following:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs or skinless single breast(s), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound monkfish or any other firm white fish, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and sautéed in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil until brown on all sides


  1. Heat the sesame oil in a stockpot over medium heat and stir in the garlic, onion and ginger. Stir for 3 minutes.
  2. Add carrots, potato, bell pepper, coriander, cardamom and cayenne. Stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the broth or stock, coconut milk, lime juice and Tom Ka or Tom Yum paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes (adjust heat as required to simmer).
  4. Add the spinach, mushrooms, green onions and most of the mint or cilantro leaves. (Reserve some for garnish before adding to curry.) Simmer for 5 more minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp, chicken, fish, scallops or tofu and simmer for 5 more minutes, or until the food is cooked through.
  6. Serve in warmed bowls.

By Bob Blumer

Bob Blumer (aka the Surreal Gourmet) hosts his own program on the Food Channel.
The Surreal Gourmet's Web Site is located at

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