Chicken Yellow Curry (Kaeng Kari Kai) Recipe

Notes: Be sure to use the correct curry paste for this recipe. Look for the word "karee" or "kari" in addition to "yellow" just to be certain. There's another type of curry that is called "yellow sour curry." You want to former, not the latter. If there's no "karee" or "kari" on the label, hopefully there's a picture of the finished dish on it to help you. If you see chunks of potato in the picture, that's a good sign. The other kind of yellow curry doesn't contain potatoes.

Recipe Facts



Active: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 2 large shallots or 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 green or red jalapeno pepper, sliced thinly crosswise
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar (no substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup kari (karee) curry paste (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 pound low-starch, waxy potatoes, peeled (optional) and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound medium yellow or white onions, peeled and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 2-inch cubes


  1. Cut the half cucumber in half lengthwise. With the cut side down, cut each half crosswise into thin slices; place in a glass bowl. Add shallot (or red onion) slices and pepper slices to cucumber bowl; set aside.

  2. Combine sugar, vinegar, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until sugar has completely dissolved (the mixture doesn't have to be boiled), immediately remove from heat. Allow the sauce to cool down to slightly warmer than room temperature, then pour it over cucumber-shallot-pepper mixture. Stir, cover with a piece of plastic wrap, and keep chilled.

  3. In a 2-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat, heat about 1/2 cup of coconut cream (the thick part that rises to the top of the can) with curry paste. Once coconut fat splits, add potato, onion, remaining coconut milk, and fish sauce to the saucepan. Add just enough water, if necessary, to keep the ingredients submerged. Bring to a boil; cover, lower the heat so the mixture simmers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes cubes are softened, about 15 minutes.

  4. Add chicken to the pot. Bring mixture back to a gentle boil, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Check for seasoning, adding more fish sauce if necessary.

  5. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and prepared ajat (cucumber/onion mixture).

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