the main course

Coconut Chicken Curry

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Replicate the flavors of takeout at home for a fraction of the price and packaging with this vibrant and flavorful curry. Perfect for relaxed nights in, this curry gets its rich flavor from a heavy dose of aromatics, full-fat coconut milk, and deeply flavored red curry and tomato pastes. As an added bonus, curries like this taste better the next day, so feel free to make extra!

Recipe and photo by Cooks Venture

Serves 4


  • 2 c jasmine rice 
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1-1 ½ boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, medium diced
  • 1 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced 
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp curry paste
  • 1 ¾ c unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ pound Bok choy
  • 2-3 stems cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 lime, quartered, for garnish


Cook the Rice:

  1. In a small pot, combine the rice, 4 cups of water, and a big pinch of salt. Heat to boiling on high.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 14 to 16 minutes. Turn off the heat. Fluff the rice with a fork.

Cook the Chicken

  1. While the rice cooks, pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. 
  2. In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. 
  3. Cook without stirring until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. 

Add the Vegetables:

  1. Increase the heat to high and add the onion and pepper to the pan of browned chicken. Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and ginger. 
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about a minute. 

Add the Seasonings:

  1. Add the tomato paste, coconut milk, and curry paste to the pan of chicken and vegetables. 
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. 
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro (if that’s your thing) and enjoy!

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • We prefer to use full-fat coconut milk for its luscious body and full flavor. However, light coconut milk would also work in this recipe—it just may create a slightly thinner sauce.
  • We prefer to use pasture-raised chicken thighs, as they remain the juiciest, but feel free to swap out for pasture-raised chicken breasts—just reduce the cook time a bit to avoid drying out the breasts since they have less fat.
  • Depending on how thick your bok choy heads are, we recommend cutting them lengthwise so they’re about 1 inch thick at the base.
  • Don’t skimp on cooking the tomato and curry pastes! Cooking the concentrated pastes until browned—but not burned—caramelizes the natural sugars, intensifying and deepening their unique flavors. Don’t worry if the pastes get stuck to the bottom of the pan, as adding the coconut milk will help and build even more flavor.


  • Colette Barcilon
    November 24, 2020 at 4:27 am

    I seems that you may have skipped adding the coconut milk to the recipe! I assume it would be in Step 3, after the tomato paste and curry paste have toasted and are fragrant. For how long should the coconut milk cook?

    • Imperfect
      December 3, 2020 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you so much for flagging this for us! We’ve passed this along to our team so we can make the needed adjustments to the recipe! 💚

      • Sara Cooper
        February 8, 2021 at 8:44 pm

        Perhaps it would work better to say

        Transfer ingredients from pan to large bowl
        Add curry and tomato paste, stirring to mix. Cook 2-3 minutes on low heat
        Add coconut milk, and stir to mix, simmer at low two minutes
        Add bowl contents to pan. Toss to coat.

  • Jennifer Hettenbach
    January 13, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    When I go to print, it prints a picture of the Chicken Noodle Soup.

  • Sheila M Ewing
    January 13, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Is that sweetened or unsweetened coconut milk?

    • Imperfect
      January 14, 2021 at 11:44 pm


  • Julie Westbrook
    January 14, 2021 at 7:11 am

    And also, what do you do with the bok choy? Is it served raw? I don’t see anywhere on the recipe where you add it.

    • Imperfect
      January 14, 2021 at 11:50 pm

      Add the box choy with the onions and the peppers 💚

  • Jeanne
    May 26, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    Can this be done/modified for slow cooker?

    • Imperfect
      June 2, 2021 at 8:00 pm

      Can’t see why not! And cooking is all about experimenting too! Try it out and lettuce know! 💚


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