Green Thai Curry Chicken Soup

Wow, so many adjectives for the name of this dish! Carla told me she was craving curry, so I set out on a little recipe hunt. Mike Vrobel over at Dad Cooks Dinner has been a standard source for cooking over the years so I turned there first. He has lots of curry dishes but this Thai green curry chicken recipe looked tasty.

We’ve had some dinners with nice sauces the past few months including Bean Curd with Mushrooms and Oyster Sauce (try it before you dis it), and broccoli beef. When we – used to – go out for Thai or Indian food the curry sauces are substantial; you can pull a spoon through it on the plate and the two separated halves take a few moments to reconnect. That’s what I was aiming for. Unfortunately, this is really more of a soup than a curry. I should have paid closer attention to the picture on the Dad Cooks Dinner post.

This is an Instant Pot recipe with just a bit of prep and 10 minutes of cooking under pressure.

Mike Vrobel recommends a specific brand of curry paste; but I used the brand at my local New Seasons market because I was too busy to make a special trip to the local Ranch 99 Asian market.

Rather than dicing the onion this recipe calls for slicing into thin rings. Less work is good for a weeknight dinner. The most time consuming portion of this recipe was cutting three pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 2-inch = ½-inch pieces. I don’t normally show pictures of raw chicken because, ugh. But here is everything else prepped.

Thai green curry ingredients
Thai green curry ingredients

If you decide to make this, you do not have to pour each ingredient into separate bowls; rather, you can just toss them in when the recipe calls for it.

The first step is to sauté the onion rings, garlic, and ginger in some vegetable oil.

Onion rings, garlic and ginger ready to sauté
Onion rings, garlic and ginger being sautéd

When the onions are soft we add coconut cream and the green curry paste.

Green curry paste and coconut cream

One of the things that intrigued me about this recipe was using the separated components of the can of coconut milk. Normally, I extract the separated can components to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Here I just scooped out that cream on top and saved the coconut water underneath for the pressure cooking.

After the paste and coconut cream cook for a bit, we add the chicken, and mix to coat it in the paste/cream mixture. Then add the liquid and flavor punches – soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar.

Liquid and flavor punches for green curry

This dish is not as complicated as it may look. If I wasn’t taking photos to blog about this cook, I would have measured the chicken stock into a measuring cup, but the coconut water was just fine in the can and didn’t need to be poured into a cup. Likewise, I would have just measured the other ingredients and poured them directly into the pressure cooker.

Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes then do a quick release. Taste for flavor and add soy sauce or brown sugar to get it to taste like you want. Because I was using homemade, low, low salt chicken stock, the broth needed a bit more umami flavor so I added another shake of soy sauce.

Finally, toss in the cut green beans and juice from one lime.

Green beans and lime juice to finish the curry

I must say I was a tad disappointed at how watery the “sauce” was. You certainly couldn’t dip a spoon in and have it be coated with sauce upon pulling it out.

Thai green curry chicken soup.

Originally, I envisioned serving this in a pasta bowl next to a portion of Jasmine rice . That wasn’t going to work. So, I served it in a soup bowl with rice on the side.

Dinner is served: Thai green curry chicken soup. Why is there a fork in the picture?

It tasted good but it didn’t scratch our itch for curry. After a spoonful or two of the soup we dumped the rice in so we had chicken and rice soup. Or Thai green curry chicken and rice soup.

I used half the amount of curry paste that Dad Cooks Dinner calls for – at his suggestion – because I didn’t want it fiery hot; we can always add heat while eating, but can’t subtract it. We have a couple of Thai restaurants in town that serve very spicy dishes; one I used to frequent in downtown Portland near Portland State University is known for its spicy dishes. I could barely manage 1-star of heat. Michael Fletcher is the only person I know who could eat the full 5-star spicy version of the dishes. This is the same man who polished off 5 habanero chiles along with the spicy sauce in about 5 minutes at Salvador Molly’s to get his picture on the wall of honor there.

Rating: ★★ 2 out of 5 stars. If this was a soup recipe I’d give it 3 stars; but there are better ways to make green curry. This is a nice chicken soup with a bit of pleasant zing from the curry paste. If you are looking for a variation on chicken soup, this is a worthy recipe. But don’t making it thinking you’ll have a thick curry sauce. Out hunt continues.

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