Recipes Main Courses Poultry and Game Chicken-Coconut Curry

Chicken-Coconut Curry

Kids like the lime-coconut flavor of this curry that falls somewhere between tangy and sweet. If your family likes spicy curry, add thinly sliced serrano chilies. 


  • 1 small yellow onion 
  • 2 lemongrass stalks 
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil 
  • 1 heaping Tbs. grated fresh ginger 
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin 
  • Serrano chilies, thinly sliced (optional)  
  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar 
  • 1 can (14.5 fl. oz.) coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock 
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. fish sauce, to taste 
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves  
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, thinly sliced 
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves 
  • 1 cup thinly sliced white mushrooms 
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice 
  • Steamed jasmine rice for serving


  • Cilantro sprigs
  • Lime wedges
  • Bean sprouts


Peel and thinly slice the onion. Trim the lemongrass to the white bulb only, then slice it in half lengthwise and crush with the side of the knife. Warm a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, lemongrass, ginger and garlic, and sauté until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cumin, sliced chilies and brown sugar and cook until the sugar bubbles, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and lime leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the chicken, basil, mushrooms and lime juice, and simmer until the chicken is opaque, about 10 minutes more. Remove and discard the lemongrass stalks. Spoon the curry over steamed rice and garnish with cilantro sprigs, lime wedges and bean sprouts. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).