Thai Mango Red Curry with Chicken and Coconut Rice


Making Thai-style food at home doesn’t have to be hard or fussy! This easy Thai mango red curry is so easy, so flavorful, and crazy delicious (especially served over coconut rice – yum!).

Thai chicken mango red curry sauce over white rice on white plate.

I know you know that I know that we all know that I’m obsessed with curry dishes made at home. I love this style of food so, so much.

Indian curries. Thai curries. Mel’s interpretation of curries. Give me all the curries.

I also know that you know that I never claim I’m diving into super authentic territory with these recipes.

In fact, I try not to get too hyper-focused on authenticity so that these style of dishes are approachable at home. Not all of us have access to kaffir lime leaves or fresh, whole spices or hard-to-find chilis.

While I won’t dispute that any or all of those things would take any curry recipe up about 1,021 notches, it’s also pretty amazing the deliciousness you can whip up at home with every day ingredients.

Thai chicken mango red curry sauce over white rice on white platter.


I’ve been making this mango red curry dish since last year, and it is phenomenal.

The flavor profile gets a boost from using both red curry paste (I usually use the Thai Kitchen brand) and curry powder (my fave: sweet curry powder from Penzey’s).

However, check out the notes in the recipe for some helpful tips if you don’t have one or the other of those. Spoiler alert: I’ve made this with additional curry powder subbed in for the curry paste, and it is super delicious.

What makes it ultra-special is the smooth and creamy sauce emboldened with the light, sweet hint of mango.

The subtly sweet and bold savory flavors in this Thai-inspired mango red curry makes me want to cry with happiness. Add in the fact that it is quick and simple, and you have my dream weeknight meal.

Thai chicken mango red curry sauce over white rice on white plate.

I’ve added a coconut rice component, because we looooove coconut rice around here and serve it often with lots of dishes. As in, I about died of happiness when we first paired this favorite basil chicken in coconut curry sauce with coconut rice instead of going with our usual (thrown together white or brown rice).

And it was kind of the same reaction with this gently spicy, creamy red mango curry + coconut rice. Match made in heaven! Plus, I’ve included quick Instant Pot directions for the coconut rice in the notes of the recipe if you’d rather forego the stovetop.

If you haven’t enjoyed the wonders of coconut rice (or coconut curries), I can see how you might be worried about too much coconut (!!) or what is all this coconut doing in my dinner (??).

But I promise there isn’t an overt, weird, strong coconut vibe going on here. It’s smooth and subtle. Creamy and mild.

It works. So, so well. Trust me.

One Year Ago: Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice
Two Years Ago: Pesto and Marinara Mozzarella Chicken Bake
Three Years Ago: Mexican Chopped Salad with Simple Honey Vinaigrette
Four Years Ago: Baked Shrimp and Orzo with Feta Cheese
Five Years Ago: Buttermilk Biscuits

Yield: 6 servings

Thai Mango Chicken Red Curry with Coconut Rice {30-Minute Meal}

Ingredients:

Coconut Mango Sauce:

  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) light or regular coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (low-sodium or regular)
  • 1 large mango, peeled and pit removed (about 12-16 ounce mango) (see note for frozen mango)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional, only if you want a thicker sauce)

Chicken Curry:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion or shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger or ginger paste (see note)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use coarse, kosher salt)
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Coconut Rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 can coconut milk, light or regular
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use coarse, kosher salt)

Directions:

  1. For the sauce, in a blender, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. For the chicken, in a large, nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onion softens, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pat the chicken pieces dry and add them to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the chicken turns white on all sides but isn’t cooked through all the way, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the curry paste, curry powder, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the sauce mixture and stir well. Bring to a simmer, stirring often to make sure the curry paste and curry powder are fully dissolved. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to prevent burning, until the sauce has thickened slightly (it will thicken faster if you added the cornstarch to the blender with the other ingredients).
  6. Stir in the lime zest and add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  7. For the coconut rice, combine all the ingredients in a 5-quart or larger saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to prevent sticking. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 16 minutes. Remove from the heat without lifting the lid and let sit for 5-10 minutes before fluffing with a spoon or fork and serving.
  8. Serve the curry over the coconut rice, garnishing with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Notes:

If you aren’t sure how you feel about fish sauce or you don’t have it on hand, you can try subbing in the same amount of soy sauce (although I will encourage you to try fish sauce at some point for the delicious, unique flavor it adds). Several people in the comments asked about frozen mango, so I thought I’d give a quick note that yes, I think it would sub just fine for the fresh mango. I’d try to let it thaw first and use about 12 ounces (a cup or so).

I mention this tip a lot when it comes to fresh ginger, but here again I’ll say it: no need to be intimidated by fresh ginger! Cut the knobby ginger into 1-inch pieces and toss into a quart-sized freezer bag. When needed in a recipe, pull a piece out of the freezer bag and immediately grate it (peel and all) on the small holes of a box grater or on a rasp grater. Super simple! Also, ginger paste in a tube is widely available now, and I usually keep it on hand – tastes just as good as fresh ginger in recipes like this.

As a reminder, my favorite brand of curry powder is the sweet curry powder from Penzey’s spices (not sponsored, just love it). Be aware of the spice level in the curry paste and powder you are using and dial up or down as needed. If you don’t have curry powder or curry paste, you can make this dish with all curry powder (2 tablespoons total) or all curry paste (2 tablespoons total), keeping in mind it will change the flavor profile a bit. It’s super delicious made with the full amount of curry powder if using the sweet curry powder – yum!

To really speed up this meal, get the rice cooking before starting the sauce and chicken. For an Instant Pot version of the rice, spray the insert of the Instant Pot with nonstick cooking spray. In a 4-cup liquid measure, pour in the coconut milk and add chicken broth to get to 2 cups liquid (total). Add this mixture to the Instant Pot. Add 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice and the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Give a good stir. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the rest of the pressure manually. Fluff with a spoon or fork and serve.

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