How to Make Thai Red Curry (Gaeng Daeng)

Thai cuisine is renowned for its vibrant flavors and aromatic dishes, and Gaeng Daeng, or Thai Red Curry, is a perfect example of this culinary tradition. Here’s a simple guide to making this delicious dish at home.


1 can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 lb (450g) chicken, beef, or tofu, sliced
1 cup assorted vegetables (bell peppers, bamboo shoots, eggplant)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Fresh Thai basil leaves (optional)
Thai jasmine rice, to serve


    Prepare the Curry Base:

    Heat a deep pan or wok over medium heat. Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it, scoop out the thick cream on top into the pan, and let it melt and bubble.
    Add 2 tablespoons of red curry paste to the coconut cream. Stir and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

    Cook the Protein:

    Add your choice of protein (chicken, beef, or tofu) to the pan. Stir and cook until the meat is sealed and coated with the curry paste, about 3-4 minutes.

    Add Vegetables:

    Add assorted vegetables such as bell peppers, bamboo shoots, and eggplant. Stir well to combine with the meat and curry paste.

    Season the Curry:

    Pour in the remaining coconut milk from the can. Stir in 2 tablespoons of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of palm sugar (adjust to taste). Let the curry simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

    Finish and Serve:

    If using, tear fresh Thai basil leaves and stir them into the curry just before serving for added flavor and aroma.
    Serve hot with Thai jasmine rice on the side.


Red Curry Paste: Use store-bought red curry paste for convenience, or make your own by blending dried red chilies, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, galangal (or ginger), shrimp paste, and spices.
Customize: Adjust the spiciness by varying the amount of red curry paste used. You can also add other vegetables or herbs like kaffir lime leaves for extra fragrance.