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 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.

Cooks 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 most juicy and moist, 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 to deglaze them and build even more flavor.

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