Red Chicken Curry with Bamboo Shoots

Dark meat chicken thighs are robust enough to be paired with red curry; the sweet bamboo shoots make an appealing (and cooling) contrast of taste and texture.

Note: good quality Thai red curry paste is now available in most supermarkets and Asian speciality food stores. There is plenty of sauce in this recipe which makes it go perfectly with rice – in this case, Coconut Rice.


  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 900 g (2 lb) unboned chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 110 g (4 oz) finely sliced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tinned coconut milk
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) homemade chicken stock or store-bought fresh stock
  • 110 g (4 oz) fresh or tinned drained bamboo shoots
  • 4 large fresh red Thai chillies, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves or 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • handful fresh basil leaves


If using unboned thighs, remove the skin and bones or have your butcher do it for you. Cut the chicken into 2.5 cm (1 in) chunks.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the shallots and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the curry paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Slowly drizzle in the coconut milk, stirring all the while. Then add the chicken stock. Next add the bamboo shoots, chillies, fish sauce, sugar and lime leaves. Now add the chicken pieces. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir to mix well, toss in the basil leaves and serve at once.