Flavor up your next meal with this Thai Eggplant Green Curry recipe, a flavor packed vegetarian dish. Made with Thai eggplant, bell pepper, and a delicious green curry sauce, it’s better than takeout!
During my Thailand adventures a couple of years ago, I learned two things.
First, monkeys will in fact steal iced coffee right from your hands.
Second, I took a cooking class and learned what a true Thai curry dish should taste like. Though to my disappointment, I could never quite recreate it at home!
After my fair share of practice I was able to come up with something pretty darn close, and our weeknight coconut curry was born. And as I expand my eggplant repertoire even further, I’ve created this delicious Thai Green Curry, a sister of the red coconut version!
This Thai green curry recipe is a classic Thai recipe that uses green eggplants, a red bell pepper, snow peas, and bamboo shoots for a delicious blend of veggies that sit atop a bed of fluffy rice.
But the sauce is where this curry shines. You may notice that we’re using a pre-made curry paste versus making one totally from scratch. Though homemade options tend to have fresher ingredients and a more authentic flavor, many ingredients are hard to find in western grocery stores. So, we’re improvising with a store bought curry paste, and amping it up with easy flavor supplements!
Ingredients in Thai green curry
To kick off this vegetarian Thai green curry, start with a blend of veggies. For the broth, we’re going for a half homemade, half store bought Thai green curry paste made with four main ingredients and a bunch of yummy flavorings!
- Eggplant: To start, you’ll need 6 Thai eggplants, which is a type of eggplant that can usually be found in your neighborhood Asian supermarket. You can use 1 Italian eggplant if preferred.
- Pepper: Next, use 1 whole red bell pepper (sliced) for flavor and crunch.
- Snow Peas: Add 1 cup of snow peas. They’re the perfect curry veggie!
- Coconut Oil: All of that will be sautéed in coconut oil for maximum flavor (but feel free to use any vegetable oil you may have on hand).
- Bamboo Shoots: Include 1 8-oz can of bamboo shoots, which provide a fun crunchy element to the curry.
- Coconut Oil: The broth begins with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Curry Paste: Next, include 3 tablespoons of green curry paste to get that classic curry flavor.
- Coconut Milk: Use 2 13-oz cans of coconut milk to thicken the sauce. You’re welcome to use a lower fat coconut milk, but ensure you’re using the canned stuff (the coconut milk in a carton by the refrigerated milks won’t work well here).
- Soy Sauce: Add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to amp up the salty flavor.
- Optional: My secret to next level curry (while only using store bought curry paste)? Add flavor boosters! If you’d like, you can include 1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger, lemongrass paste, fresh Thai basil, and/or 2 cloves of minced garlic.
How to make Thai curry with eggplant
We’ll begin this recipe by prepping the veggies, followed by sautéing them to pan fried perfection. Then, we’ll add the sauce and enjoy!
Step 1: Prep the veggies and rice
Cut the eggplant into bite-sized chunks, leaving the skin on (Thai eggplant softens during cooking – keeping the skin on will help ensure the eggplant stays in tact). Cut the bell peppers into slices. Trim the tough ends off of the snow peas. If serving with rice, start that now.
Step 2: Sauté the vegetables
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium heat and add the eggplant. Cook until slightly soft and brown on the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the bell pepper and snow peas, continuing to cook until the veggies are brightly colored, about 3 more minutes. Remove all of the veggies from the pan and cover to keep warm.
Step 3: Add the flavorings
Heat another 1 tablespoon of oil in the sauté pan or wok, and then add the curry paste. Cook for a minute, until fragrant, and then add the coconut milk and soy sauce. To amp up the curry (especially if you’re using a store bought paste), add any or all of the optional flavor enhancers in the ingredient list. Whisk to combine, and then taste and add more curry paste as needed. Bring to a gentle simmer to serve.
Step 4: Serve & enjoy
Stir the bamboo shoots and the cooked veggies into the broth. Spoon over rice, topping with Thai basil.
Recipe swaps and tips
You may have noticed that the ingredients list includes 6 Thai eggplants, with the option of swapping those with one Italian eggplant. Both options taste so good, but I really recommend sticking with the Thai eggplants! If you can’t find them in your local grocery store, check out your local Asian supermarket. Browse around while you’re there — you may be surprised by all of the goodies you find!
Another swap option comes with the coconut oil. If you don’t have any, you can replace it with any type of cooking oil that you have handy.
More eggplant recipes to try out
Now that you know all about eggplants and how to incorporate different variations into your meals, here are some tasty dishes to try out!
- Korean Eggplant Tacos
- Eggplant Lasagna
- Bulgur Stuffed Eggplant
- Roasted Eggplant with Mint Sauce and Feta
P.S. this green curry is best served with jasmine rice! Here’s how to make perfect jasmine rice.
- 6 Thai eggplants or 1 Italian eggplant
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil 15 g
- 1 8-oz can bamboo shoots drained
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil 15 g
- 3 Tbsp green curry paste 45 g
- 2 13.5-oz cans coconut milk 800 mL
- 1 tsp soy sauce 5 mL
- Optional Flavor Enhancers: 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger, 1 Tbsp lemongrass paste, 1 Tbsp fresh Thai basil, 2 cloves minced garlic
- Jasmine rice
- Fresh Thai basil
- Prep: Cut eggplant into bite-sized chunks, leaving the skin on. Cut bell pepper into slices. Trim tough ends off the snow peas. If serving with rice, start your rice now.
- Saute: Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium heat, then add eggplant. Cook until slightly soft and brown on the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add bell pepper and snow peas, continuing to cook until veggies are brightly colored, about 3 more minutes. Remove all veggies from the pan and cover to keep warm.
- Broth: Heat another 1 Tbsp of oil in the saute pan or wok, then add curry paste. Cook for a minute, until fragrant, then add coconut milk and soy sauce. To amp up your curry (especially is using store bought curry paste), add any or all of the Optional Flavor Enhancers. Whisk to combine then taste, adding more curry paste as needed to suit your liking. Bring to a gentle simmer to serve.
- Serve: Stir bamboo shoots and cooked veggies into broth. Spoon over rice, topping with Thai basil.