Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thai Basil Green Curry with Chicken, Snap Peas and Spinach

Don't you love finding out about a new food or recipe?  I certainly do.  In May while perusing The Perfect Pantry blog I saw a post about making Thai Green Basil Curry with Chicken, Asparagus and Spinach.  Have you checked out The Perfect Pantry yet?    If not, please do.  I know you'll enjoy Lydia's posts.  She's always has an interesting recipe to share with us.  In this case, the recipe included Thai basil, an herb I had neither seen, nor used before. 

Thai Basil
I was intrigued by Thai basil.  Lydia said that Thai basil has a unique flavor that makes this dish.  I had to seek out some Thai basil.  Luckily I found a Thai basil plant at my local Home Depot.  I planted it in a pot on my deck and have watched it grow.  It finally reached a size where I was ready to harvest some of the leaves and try out the Thai green curry recipe.

The day I decided to make this recipe it was raining cats and dogs.  So what's new, you ask?  I know, you've been hearing a lot about the rainy weather we've been having here in the Northeast.  Yes, the rain is getting old.  But enough about that...I didn't want to go out to the store in the rain, so I decided to make this recipe with what I had on hand.  When you compare my recipe below, to Lydia's original recipe you'll see I made some changes.  I love that about cooking.  We take a recipe as inspiration and make it our own.

Sugar Snap Peas
One of the biggest changes I made was to swap out the asparagus for sugar snap peas.  My garden is producing sugar snap peas daily and this seemed like a perfect recipe to showcase these delicious peas. 

Since the spinach has gone by in my garden, I only have frozen chopped spinach on hand, so that's what I used.  It would have been prettier if I had used fresh baby spinach, so I encourage you to use the fresh spinach if you have some. 

I also decided to add the zest of the lime to the dish.  I'm gaga for citrus, so I look for opportunities to punch up recipes with citrus flavor.  You can leave it out.

Let's see how I made this yummy dish, shall we?

Thai Basil Green Curry with Chicken, Snap Peas and Spinach
Serves 4
Thai Green Curry Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 scallions, sliced including green parts
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into one inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 Tablespoons Thai green curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • the zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 ounces frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 fresh Thai basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Prepare rice.  I used Basmati rice.  It's my new favorite rice.  Cut your boneless chicken breasts into one inch cubes chunks.  I cut mine while they were still partially frozen.  It made the cutting very easy.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and sliced scallion.  Saute for 3-5 minutes, until the chicken starts to brown.


Then add the sugar snap peas and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

Mix the curry paste with 1/4 cup of water.  Add the mixture all at once to the chicken a stir to distribute.  Add the coconut milk and stir to distribute.  Reduce the heat so the mixture simmers, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Check occasionally to make sure the chicken isn't sticking to the pan.

Combine the brown sugar, lime juice, lime zest, Thai basil and soy sauce.  Pour this mixture into the pan and cook together for 2 minutes.  Add the spinach, stir and cook until the spinach thaws.  Taste and add black pepper as needed.  Serve over rice. 

This dinner got a thumbs up from my family.  It's entering our menu rotation because it is full of new flavors and is easy to make.  So yummy!  Thanks to Lydia at the perfect pantry for introducing this to me.

Click the link for the printable Thai Basil Green Curry with Chicken, Snap Peas and Spinach recipe.  Also check out the original Thai Green Basil Curry with Chicken, Asparagus and Spinach recipe at the Perfect Pantry.

You might also like to try my Shrimp Pad Thai recipe.  It is addictive!



  1. I'm so glad your family liked this! Mine does, too, and I've got 4 Thai basil plants in the garden this year to keep us well supplied. Watch for more recipes that use Thai basil on my blog; it's a special ingredient, and now that you have your own plant, I'll be watching here for more recipes that use it, too.

  2. This sounds interesting. I think I have to get some Thai basil and try it


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