Red Curry of Chicken and White Asparagus, Inspired by Pinto by Chak
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
  • One 3- to 3.5-pound chicken, preferably free-range
  • ¼ cup prepared red curry paste (use half if heat is an issue)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (the thick part that rises to the top of the can)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, torn and bruised (I couldn't find them, so I didn't use them.)
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (Prachak's recipe calls for granulated sugar.)
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • One full-length banana heart (cut it crosswise into thin slices, soak them in acidulated water to minimize oxidation, drain well, and use a chopstick to remove the stringy resin as shown in the video I've linked to in the post) OR 1 pound white asparagus (trim off the tough ends and cut into 1-inch sticks)
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • A handful of lemon basil leaves (or ½ cup packed Thai basil leaves and 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves)
  1. Cut the chicken through the bones into small chunks twice the normal bite size; set aside.
  2. In a large wok or Dutch oven, fry the curry paste with the coconut cream over medium heat until fragrant (it's okay if the cream doesn't split; if you use canned coconut cream, it probably won't). Add the chicken, salt, kaffir lime leaves, and sugar; continue to cook, stirring often, until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes (if the mixture gets too dry (likely the case if your wok is shallow and wide), add some of the 3 cups coconut milk to keep the sauce from scorching).
  3. Add the (remaining) coconut milk and cook the chicken until it's tender but still firm, about 15 minutes longer. Add the banana heart slices and more water, if necessary to keep everything barely submerged, and cook 10 minutes longer (2 minutes, if you use asparagus).
  4. Taste for seasoning; add fish sauce to taste.
  5. Take off the heat and stir in the lemon basil.
Recipe by SheSimmers at