Thai Chicken (or other protein) Coconut Curry

May 2, 2021

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Thai Chicken (or other protein) Coconut Curry

The science of eating well: exotic, healthy, quick and delicious recipes.

I love Thai curries. The problem is that many of them are loaded with calories from sugar etc. or laced with unhealthy salt, or even are full of high-octane coconut milk. All bad for the waistline and the cardiovascular system.

This one is different. I have somewhat reimagined the red Thai curry so that it’s healthy, light on calories—and quick to make. And it’s very, very tasty.


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium/large onion, diced small
  • 500 gms (1 lb) boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces; or 500 gms (1 lb) cooked shrimp
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground ginger or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • one 400mL (13 fl oz) can lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup fat-free yoghurt
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, or to taste (curry powder may be substituted, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 250 gms (9 oz) frozen spinach
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  1. To a large skillet, add the oil, onion, and sauté over medium-high heat until the onion begins to soften about 5 minutes; stir intermittently.
  2. Add the protein and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is done; flip and stir often to ensure even cooking.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir frequently.
  4. Add the coconut milk, yoghurt, carrots, Thai curry paste, salt, pepper, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium, and allow mixture to gently boil for about 5 minutes, or until liquid volume has reduced as much as desired and thickens slightly.
  5. Cook the spinach (follow packed directions).
  6. Add the spinach, lime juice, and stir to combine. Cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice or naan.

Yield: 6 servings

Total Time: about 20 to 25 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: about 15 to 20 minutes

Energy: with chicken - 1015kJs (254 calories) per serve

With shrimp - 748 kJs (187 calories) per serve

Dr Bob Murray

Bob Murray, MBA, PhD (Clinical Psychology), is an internationally recognised expert in strategy, leadership, influencing, human motivation and behavioural change.

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