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Everything You Need to Know About Thai Yellow Curry

Dec 6, 2018

Curry is a staple in Thailand and can be found almost everywhere here in the US at various Thai restaurants. It’s usually created with fresh, local vegetables and plenty of potatoes (arguably the best part!). Yellow Thai Curry is usually the creamiest of the curries, combining either coconut milk or water with meat, starchy vegetables, and of course, plenty of curry paste. That characteristically bright yellow color comes from the addition of turmeric, which is a delicious spice that is known for its ultra-bright yellow color in powder form. For all you lovers of the dish, here is everything you need to know about Thai Yellow Curry – plus a yummy recipe for it below.

That yellow color isn’t just a coincidence!

There are a few different Thai versions of traditional Indian yellow curry, but they all have on thing in common: a ton of turmeric! Overall, Thai Yellow Curry is generally richer than other Thai curries and uses a mellow sweet and spicy paste to give it that traditionally sweet flavor.

Spices, spices, spices.

The primary spices in yellow curry are usually cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, garlic, salt, bay leaf, lemongrass, cayenne pepper, ginger, and cinnamon. If that sounds like a lot of spices – it is! Luckily, our Thai Yellow Curry Seasoning is here for you! It contains pretty much all the essential spices and herbs you need for yellow curry in one go, making the whole thing that much easier (a total bonus for those hectic weeknights!).

It’s all about the chilies.

Traditionally, all Thai curries were made with the same ingredients except for one thing: the chilies. Chilies were the ingredient that truly made each type of curry different and unique. The red curry was made with several red chilies for a fiery hot dish, while the green curry was made with green chilies, and yellow curry was made with yellow chilies. In Thailand, these chilies have only slightly different taste characteristics in addition to their color; over time, however, other ingredients have been added to the different curry pastes to enhance each recipe and make them more distinct from one another.

The spice factor.

Because Thai yellow curry contains both coconut cream and coconut milk, it’s much milder, richer, and creamier than other curries. It’s usually made with chicken or beef, carrots, onions, and potatoes, but other starchy vegetables can be added or substituted as you prefer (some add red and green peppers or both!). However, because it’s so creamy, yellow curry is usually only a mild/medium on the spice scale; meaning it’s not very spicy. Thai green curry is the spiciest, followed by red curry coming in at medium/hot. If you want to ramp up the spice factor in your yellow curry, you can always add more chilies!

Easy Thai Yellow Curry Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Half a yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons Thai Yellow Curry Seasoning
  • 10 baby Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream OR coconut milk
  • ½ – 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Brown or white rice to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes until the onions are fragrant and softened. Add the chicken and Thai Yellow Curry Seasoning; saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir.
  2. Add the coconut cream, and ½ cup water to the pot – simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are fully cooked, adding more water depending on the consistency you want for the sauce.
  3. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar to really take it up a notch! Serve over brown or white rice.

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