Thai Green Curry Coconut Sauce

Thai green curry paste and fish sauce are available in the Asian section of most large supermarkets and at health food stores.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS
KEY: Fall, Winter, Fast - Column, Test Kitchen, Asian, Thai, Sauces & Condiments, Fast, Make Ahead

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  • One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste, or more to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • Four 1-inch strips of lemon zest (see Alternatives)
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger—peeled, thinly sliced and lightly smashed
  • Four 1-inch strips of lime zest (see Alternatives)
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk 1/4 cup of the coconut milk with the curry paste. Stir in the remaining coconut milk, the stock, lemon zest, ginger, lime zest, 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and the brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook the sauce over moderately high heat until reduced by one-quarter, about 15 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lemon zest, ginger and lime zest and discard. Stir in the lime juice, cilantro, basil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of fish sauce; transfer to a bowl.

Make Ahead

The curry sauce can be refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 2 days.


Alternatives: Replace the lemon zest with the bottom 4 inches of 1 stalk of lightly smashed fresh lemongrass, and replace the lime zest with 4 kaffir lime leaves that have been lightly crushed. Applications: Use as a stir-fry sauce or as a poaching liquid for chicken, shrimp and vegetables. Or, toss with Asian noodles or serve over rice.

Contributed By Published December 2002

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