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Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry (Stovetop or Instant Pot)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 45 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: dinner, easy dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot, stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai


A simple delicious recipe for Thai Red Curry that can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop!  Make this with chicken, tofu or shrimp. Fast, healthy and full of incredible Thai flavor!


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon oil- olive, coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemongrass, finely chopped (or use lemongrass paste)
  • 26 tablespoons Red curry paste or make homemade Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 lb protein: chicken breast or thigh, thinly sliced, or shrimp, or cubed tofu (or sub 2 1/2 cups more veggies)
  • 2 cups veggies: bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, snow peas, green beans, asparagus, etc.
  • 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk, or coconut cream- do not use light coconut milk
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon or veggie bouillon (or sub 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more fish sauce)
  • 12 tablespoons fish sauce (I like 2)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, coconut sugar or alternative sweetener
  • 68 kaffir lime leaves
  • 12 tablespoons lime juice to taste.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Optional Garnishes – lime wedge, bean sprouts, The basil or regular basil, Thai chili flakes


  1. If making jasmine rice, start it cooking it now.
  2. Prep the protein. Thinly slice the chicken and season with salt. Or make crispy tofu and set aside.

  3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the shallot, garlic, lemongrass until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the red curry paste (start light, you can always add more to taste at the end) and fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk,  bouillon cube, fish sauce, sugar and kaffir lime leaves. Stir to incorporate and bring to a gentle simmer.

  4. Add the sliced chicken and veggies. Simmer on low until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through, roughly 5 minutes.  Add the lime juice. Adjust salt to taste adding more fish sauce as needed. Add more curry paste if you like!  Keep in mind, the flavors will mellow substantially when served over the rice. You want this punchy and flavorful! 

  5. Ladle over the rice, top with bean sprouts, Thai Basil and lime wedge. Serve with Thai Chili flakes. 


Instant Pot Instructions: 

  1. Set Instant Pot to saute function. Heat oil and add shallot, ginger, lemongrass and garlic, and saute until fragrant and golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add red curry paste ( I like about 3 tablespoons for medium spicy), cook one minute, then add coconut milk, chicken bouillon cube, fish sauce, brown sugar and lime leaves. Give a stir to combine. Add chicken. (If using tofu, or shrimp, add after pressure cooking.) Pressure cook on high pressure for 6 minutes ( breast) or 8 mins (thigh). Manually release. Set back to saute function. Add chopped veggies (or shrimp or tofu) snow peas, bell peppers, and asparagus, and simmer for 3-4 minutes until veggies are tender, yet still bright and snappy. Add the lime juice. Taste, adjust salt, lime, sugar and heat to taste (add more curry paste for more spicy) keeping in mind that rice will mute the flavors a bit. You want it “punchy”! Serve over rice, topping with fresh basil, lime wedge and bean sprouts.

VEGGIES: Not all veggies cook in the same about of time, so just be intentional about when to add. For example, potatoes and carrots cook slower, so allow them to cook longer with the chicken. Quick-cooking veggies like snow peas, asparagus, and bell pepper can cook within minutes, so add towards the end.

Tofu: you can add cubes of raw firm tofu to the simmering curry sauce, or make this crispy tofu for a little more texture. I like the crispy tofu

Shrimp: Use peeled, deveined shrimp. The bigger the shrimp, the longer they will take to cook, but even large ones cook within minutes. Look for the pink color and the “C” shape. If they curl into an “O” they are most likely overcooked. 


  • Serving Size: with chicken breast
  • Calories: 398
  • Sugar: 7.1 g
  • Sodium: 703.9 mg
  • Fat: 24.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.4 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 29.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 82.7 mg