My favourite local Thai restaurant, Number One Noodle, makes an outstanding Yellow Thai Curry loaded with broccoli, carrots and protein of choice. After having it a ton of times, I decided it was something I had to make myself. There have been a few flops, but I've finally perfected the recipe.
This curry is different than what North American's think of as a curry. It's not the thick Butter Chicken or Tikka Masala type curry found throughout North America and the UK - it's almost the texture of chowder. It's gently spiced, sweet and filled with lots of complex Thai notes. If you prefer a thicker curry, you can use ½ or ⅔ cups of broth instead of a full cup. I do prefer mine more thin.
Yellow Thai Curry Ingredients
This recipe is very simple. The only ingredient that may be foreign to some households would be fish sauce. My mother-in-law is Filipino, so we always have it at the house. If you're not used to it, know that it smells much stronger than it tastes. A little does go a long way, and you can leave it out if it makes you uncomfortable but it really is one of the pillar flavours to this recipe.
What you'll need is:
- Yellow Curry Paste (I like the Mae Ploy brand)
- Coconut Cream NOT Coconut Milk
- Brown Sugar
- Fish Sauce
- Chicken Broth
- Fresh Limes
- Bean Sprouts (optional)
This recipe is really as simple as cutting up your vegetables (onions, carrots, broccoli) and slicing your chicken really thin. You can chop your chicken into chunks, but I find the best texture for a meal like this is a very thinly sliced piece of chicken breast so the cooking process allows it to cook evenly and not become overdone.
There's an example of ideal size in the picture below. You can cut it as thick or as thin as you want, but this recipe is designed with this size chicken cuts in mind.
After that, you saute the onions before adding the curry paste and chicken. Once the curry paste is fully combined you add the liquids and brown sugar and simmer until everything is cohesive and the chicken is fully cooked - adding the vegetables the last 5 minutes.
If you like your curry a bit thicker, you can either add slightly less water, or you can simmer with the lid off for the last 5 minutes to help thicken the sauce.
Finish with fish sauce and lime.
The recipe is almost too easy to write, but this blog really is focused on bringing you delicious and simple recipes that aren't bloated with complicated steps or fancy ingredients. Sweet Yellow Thai Curry is the definition of all of those factors.
What to Serve with Yellow Thai Curry?
Thai Curry really only needs to be served with Jasmine Rice. It's not like an Indian Curry or Tikka Masala that is only complete with Naan. The flavours are more fresh, slightly lighter, and they lend themselves more to a simple rice side.
What's awesome about this recipe is how forgiving it is with vegetables. You're welcome to put none in if they aren't your thing, but truly they elevate their dishes in a way nothing else can. If you don't have both broccoli and carrots, you can use pretty much anything you have on hand. I've tried peas, beans (both green and yellow), bean sprouts, squash, eggplant, potatoes and even tomatoes. Broccoli and carrots are my go to, though all the ones mentioned and I'm sure many more are an incredible addition.
What Brands Should I Use?
For most of this, brands really don't matter. Personally, I love the Mae Ploy brand of curry paste - they also make it in red and green which are both delicious, too! You can make this with green curry paste if you want it to be much spicier.
As for the chicken broth, I'm going to be blasphemous and suggest the Knorr brand of bouillon powder. The curry paste really will take over the flavours, so you don't need expensive broth. You can even use water if you want, but I really prefer the umami kick of a broth or stock.
Sweet Yellow Thai Curry with Chicken
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 2 chicken breasts thinly sliced, about 1 pound
- ½ cup yellow curry paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 can coconut cream about 14 oz
- 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
- 2 carrots, large thinly sliced
- 1 head broccoli cut into florets
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 lime
- 2 cups jasmine rice cooked
- cilantro for serving
- bean sprouts optional, see notes
- If your veggies aren't prepped, do so now by thinly slicing the carrots, dicing the onion and cutting the broccoli into florets. You can use any vegetables you want and I've made suggestions in the blog post above.
- In a large pan (stainless steel or cast iron wok preferred), heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add in the onion and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- To the hot pan, add in the thinly sliced chicken breasts and curry paste. Stir until the curry paste fully coats the chicken and onions. Add in the coconut cream, chicken broth and brown sugar and ensure the curry paste has mixed with the liquid.
- Add in your veggies of choice and over medium heat (about a 7), simmer the broth and chicken for about 5 minutes with a lid or until the chicken is cooked through. After about 5 minutes have passed, add in your vegetables and simmer an additional 5-7 minutes. *If you're using vegetables that take a long time to cook (potatoes), add them in at the same time as the chicken.
- Take off the lid and stir everything to combine. Add in the fish sauce and taste for seasoning. You can adjust to taste with more fish sauce or salt if it isn't seasoned to your liking.
- To serve, have a bowl of Jasmine rice on the side and slice a lime into wedges. Squeeze a lime wedge over the curry and, if desired, top with cilantro for a fresh kick. Optionally, top with home grown bean sprouts.
- I recommend having the curry and rice in seperate bowls or the rice will get soggy, though you can eat this however you feel is best!