Why This Recipe Works
- This recipe is very customizable: switch up the protein, use whatever vegetables you have on hand, and add in any complementary herbs you may have on hand.
- Premade curry paste makes this dish extra quick.
Of all the Thai home cooks I know, the most creative ones are the Thai students living in university dorms in the United States. I mean it. The levels of competence, of course, vary among them. But the creativity that goes into churning out the best and most affordable home-style Thai dishes that deliver much more than they require is astounding across the board.
Look at this simple thing that asks for only six ingredients—seven, if you want to add extra umami to it by way of oyster sauce. This is very practical for those living overseas in a small space with an electric frying pan, a microwave, and a refrigerator the size of a shoe box. But the result feels like a hug from home. The people I know have made one version or another of this on a regular basis.
It's very versatile as well.
Don't like green beans? Use canned bamboo shoots. Don't like chicken? Use quick-cooking cuts of beef or pork. Like seafood? Use shrimp or squid. If you can find fresh Thai basil, add a handful towards the end. If you can find fresh makrut lime leaves, slice a couple of them up very finely and throw that in too. Don't have either of those? Forget them. I wouldn't allow my inner happiness to be regulated by the scarcity or abundance of some herbs.
Have some stir-fry left over that's barely enough to feed one when you need to feed two? Throw that into a frying pan along with some cold rice and make a fried rice out of it.
Chicken Red Curry Stir-Fry With Green Beans Recipe
Seven ingredients and three minutes makes a fast, flavorful dinner.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (see note)
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed diagonally into 1-inch slices
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut against the grain into thin slices
About 1 tablespoon fish sauce, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Plain water, optional
Heat oil in a 10-inch wok or skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add curry paste and cook, stirring constantly and pressing curry paste against bottom of pan until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add green beans and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring and tossing constantly until beans are just beginning to turn tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Add chicken, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, sugar, and oyster sauce. Stir to combine.
Cook until beans are tender-crisp and chicken is barely cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Taste sauce and add more fish sauce if desired. Thin with water until sauce barely coats all the meat and vegetables but is not soupy. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.
Wok or skillet
Adjust the amount of red curry paste according to your taste and heat tolerance. In general, the red curry paste that comes in a plastic tub is spicier than one that comes in a can.
A handful of Thai basil leaves can be stirred into the stir-fry at the last minute before serving.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 11g||14%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 16mg||78%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|