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Thicken Thai Curry?

We love Thai green curries. However, after adding the coconut milk and broth, these dishes come out very soupy. We don't like that. Is there any way we can thicken these curries?

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  1. Hmmm...do you not "fry" the curry paste in the coconut cream (solid layer above milk) then add your protein, and veggies to the curry mixture to cook? Also remember that veggies secrete water as they cook. Sounds like you use a stir-fry method?

    1. What "broth" are you adding?

      I;ve been making std. green thai curry with mae ploy curry paste for more than a decade and I monitor how much coconut milk I put in if looking for a certain consistancy.

      i alos pre wok/pre cook my meat and veg or par boil the heavier vegetables and add at the end.

      Teh fish sauce adds moisture, as does raw vegetables and proteins .

      If too "soupy" I'll cook it down a little bit but ensure I do not overcook the ingredients but in many cases I;ll do that before I add the add-ins.

      Then again, the rice helps to soak the extra stuff up.

      Cornstarch or flour slurry may be your answer (or arrowroot) but I;ve never had a problem with too loose of a curry that I can recall.

      Good luck.

      1 Reply
      1. Add enough of the milky substance towards the end to achieve the consistency you want.

        1. Thanks, folks! I use green curry paste made by Thai Kitchen and I follow the recipe on the Thai Kitchen web site (http://www.thaikitchen.com/Recipes/Ch... ). It calls for coconut MILK (not cream) and water or broth. You can see from the photo that accompanies their recipe that the end result is chunks of chicken and vegetables in a soupy broth. If I don't like the soupy broth, I guess I need to use a recipe that calls for coconut cream and no broth or water, right?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chrysalisgirl

            Coconut milk is very thick on its own. Leave out the broth .

            1. re: Chrysalisgirl

              If you get a can of coconut milk, the cream is just the firm stuff on top.

              Curry is pretty forgiving. Just play around and see what works for you. It's really about technique, not specific recipes.

            2. I cook my protein, remove it, cook the veggies, fry the curry paste in the coconut cream then add the protein and however much coconut milk I want to make the consistency I like. Never any broth, though. Then I just reduce as needed.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Hobbert

                Do you purchase coconut cream separately or is it just the stuff that floats on the top of the coconut milk?

                1. re: Chrysalisgirl

                  Nope, it's just the hard stuff that floats on top. Just don't shake the can and it'll rise to the top.

                  1. re: Hobbert

                    OK. Tonight I am going to: 1) cook the meat and the veggies and set aside, 2) remove the coconut cream from the top of the can and use it to fry the curry paste, 3) add a little fish sauce, fresh Thai basil, my meat and veggies and a little coconut milk. Simmer for a few minutes and adjust the thickness of the sauce with the remaining coconut milk. Sounds like that should work. Thanks for your help. I'll report back tomorrow.

                    1. re: Chrysalisgirl

                      Don't forget garlic, grated ginger, chili flakes and white sugar, honey or palm sugar. :-)

                      But yep. Your 1-2-3 step process above is spot-on/

                      And as Hobbert stated, the "cream" just rises to the top of the can and soldifies/coagulates. All the same Coconut milk that you have been using all along as same as I use I'm sure.

                      Try and find some Mae Ploy or Maeseri brand Thai curry pastes. Way better than Thai Kitchen as I have used in the past.

                      Too bad Chowhound does not use private messanging or inter-member communication as it's 89 cents a can for good Thai curry paste locally and I;d send you a couple myself on my dime.

                      1. re: jjjrfoodie

                        Good point! Thai Kitchen is perfectly serviceable but Maeseri and Mae Ploy are so much better. I can get them at my local Asian grocery store.

                      2. re: Chrysalisgirl

                        Cool! It sounds like it'll work just fine.

                2. Don't forget heat. Work fast, work hot and it should turn out fine.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: alliegator

                    Not the best advice for Thai Curry
                    Frying the paste too hot will burn it.
                    Boiling the Coconut milk too hard will break it.

                  2. I am pleased to report that tonight's Thai green curry chicken was much improved over my previous attempts. I cooked the chicken first (a lot of water came out of the chicken). I used the coconut cream (yep, there it was, right at the top of the can!) and only added as much of the coconut milk as I needed to get the correct volume. The consistency was just right!

                    Today I also learned the difference between Italian and Thai basil and went to my Asian grocery and got Thai basil-- much better!

                    The flavor of my curry was good but your suggestions about different brands and/or adding some additional ingredients sound great. I'm going to try each of them one at a time to find the combination that is just right for us. Thanks to all of you for helping to solve my "soupy curry" problem!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chrysalisgirl

                      You might want to look for tins of Maesri brand curry pastes at your Asian grocery store. Better than Thai Kitchen and much cheaper. Should be about a buck a can. It's in cans that are similar in shape and size to canned tuna.