Thai Green Curry: Healthy, Quick Weeknight Meal

What you feed body is just as important as what you do in the gym.  I’m always surprised when a client tells me that last  night’s dinner was rotisserie chicken prepared in a grocery strore.  How do you know what the ingredients are?
Mea culpa, I’m not a dietician.  But I firmly believe that preparing meals from scratch, rather than buying value-added products, will enhance your health.  It may not be possible to buy everything in it’s rawest form.  For example, I used store-bought green curry paste in the recipe below.  Galangal, one of the ingredients is almost impossible to find.  (Like ginger or turmeric, it’s a rhizome)  And there are several great Asian grocery stores in our area.
If you enjoy Thai food as we do, there are many dishes that one can prepare at home and they’ll turn out great. Among my go-to Asian recipe sources are The Inquiring Chef, Taste Hong Kong, and The Asian Grandmothers Cook Book. 
Thai green curry is delicious and you can prepare it in under an hour.  This recipe is adapted from
For this recipe, I used a prepared Thai green curry.  I’ve only ever seen galangal once in a grocery. This, as well as kaffir lime leaves and palm sugar, can be found in specialty Asian grocery stores.
You can adjust heat / spiciness to your taste.  If you prefer a milder version, use less green curry paste.  When you cut up the Thai hot peppers, discard some of the seeds. Generally, I use 2 ½ tablespoons of green curry paste and discard ¾ of the hot pepper seeds.  This is not super hot.  Your experience may vary.
3 tablespoons oil
2 – 4 tablespoons green curry paste, depending on how much heat you like
1.25 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
10 kaffir lime leaves, lightly bruised
1 sweet red pepper, sliced thin
2 – 4 red Thai chilies, halved lengthwise and then sliced.
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar or palm sugar (I use brown sugar)
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
¾ lb green beans

ingredients for thai curry

Green beans, fish sauce, sweet and red peppers, Thai basil

Heat the oil in a saucepan large enough to hold the chicken without crowding.  When it’s hot and moves easily, add the green curry paste. Stir to mix with oil.  Add the cut-up chicken, stir, and cook for five minutes. 

Thai green curry simmering prior to adding fish sauce, sugar and basil.

Thai green curry simmering prior to adding fish sauce, sugar and basil.

Add the coconut milk, water, and sweet and Thai peppers.  Bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
Add the green beans and simmer for five minutes.  Add the basil, fish sauce and sugar.  Stir and remove from heat.  Serve with rice.

Thai green curry add rice and you're done

Thai green curry. Add rice and you’re done!