If you're wondering about what green curry at Thai restaurants is like, we'll tell you everything you need to know. We're covering taste, texture and the differences between red, yellow and green curries.
Let's dive right in...
What Does Green Curry Taste Like?
In the U.S., Thai green curry tends to be less spicy than red curry. It's also sweeter and distinctly fresh with pronounced cilantro, lime and kaffir lime leaf flavors.
Red curry, on the other hand, has more pungent, earthy flavors with garlic and soy sauce or fish sauce. Either curry may have fish sauce, though, as well as other non-vegan ingredients, so it's important to check at a restaurant.
Green Curry Texture
Texture-wise, green curry is just like red curry. It's creamy and slightly thick thanks to the coconut milk, but it's generally close to a soup consistency.
There are always plenty of vegetables swimming around the sauce, giving this curry a diversity of textures from crunchy bamboo shoots, soft cooked onions and crisp bell peppers.
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Is Thai Green Curry Spicy?
In Thailand, green curry is very spicy, perhaps even spicier than red curry. Americans are used to a milder version that can have little to no heat at all.
If you're out at a restaurant, you can ask for the spiciness to be turned up or down in your green curry, but you can probably safely assume that it will be very mild indeed.
What Is the Difference Between Green Curry and Yellow Curry?
Both red and yellow curries are sweeter than red curry, but there are key differences in their ingredients that make them totally unique in flavor.
Yellow curries contain spices like curry powder, cumin and turmeric. The vegetables used are also different. You'll usually see a base of potatoes and onions with starchy vegetables like corn and carrots.
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Can I Use Green Curry Paste Instead of Red?
Even though red and green curry pastes aren't the same, you can use them interchangeably if you need to. They have very similar ingredient lists, after all.
If you use green curry paste but you'd like the savory flavors of red curry, add a little extra soy sauce, garlic and ginger. This way, you'll have a balance of savory, salty and sweet flavors.
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Green Curry Recipe Tips
Ready to learn how to make vegan green curry? Make your own flavorful curry paste if you have access to the ingredients, but you can always pick some up at the store for a quicker dinner.
Watch this video to learn how to make Thai green curry from scratch, curry paste and all. There are some specialty ingredients that you should be able to find at your local Asian market.
Here's what you'll need:
- Green chili peppers
- Fresh coriander or cilantro
- Coriander seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Kaffir lime leaves
- Coconut milk
- Palm sugar
- Soy sauce
- Green beans
- Shimeji mushrooms (or shiitake)
- Fresh basil
Here's a recipe for a simple green curry with premade curry paste. It's ideal when you need to cut down on cooking time.
These are the ingredients:
- Firm tofu
- Coconut milk
- Vegan green curry paste
- Cooking oil
- Bell pepper
- Lemon juice
- Fresh basil
Green curry is usually the milder option between red and green Thai curries. It's easy to swap out the fish sauce it could contain with soy sauce and a little sugar. If you have the opportunity to make your own green curry paste, this is the best way to get all the zesty flavors in your meal, but you can spice up store-bought curry paste with extra ginger, garlic and chili peppers.