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Cambodian Chicken Red Curry in a bowl with white rice
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5 from 6 votes

Cambodian Chicken Red Curry

Cambodian Chicken Red Curry, known as Somlar Kari Saek Mouan or sometimes Khmer Red Curry, is a rich, flavorful curry made with coconut milk, chicken, eggplant, green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a wonderful red curry paste called kroeung.  It's similar to Thai red curry, but not as spicy.  
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 524kcal
Author: Amy Nash


Red Kroeung Paste

  • 2 lemongrass stalks outer leaves discarded and tender insides roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 shallots peeled and chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves cut into thin strips (or the zest of two limes)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh turmeric peeled and grated or finely minced (or 1 teaspoons of ground turmeric powder)
  • 2 inches galangal peeled and grated or finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 bird's eye chili
  • 5 large dried red peppers seeds and stems removed, rehydrated by soaking in hot water for 10 minutes (reserve ¾ cup of the water!)


  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6-10 Tablespoons red kroeung paste to taste
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs each cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 5-8 yardlong beans cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small eggplant also known as aubergine, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large white potato peeled, then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled, then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 2 Tablespoons palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3-4 cups water


Kroeung Paste

  • Combine the kroeung paste ingredients in a blender, adding the ¾ cup reserved water from soaking the dried red peppers as needed and blending until a smooth paste forms. It should be a deep red color. Store any leftover kroeung paste in the freezer until ready to use.


  • In a large heavy bottomed dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the kroeung curry paste and stir for one minute.
  • Add the chicken and 1 cup of the coconut milk and stir to combine with the curry paste. Cook for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  • Add the onion, beans, eggplant, and potatoes and stir to combine.
  • Add the remaining coconut milk and water, along with the fish sauce, shrimp paste, palm sugar, and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high just until the liquid comes to a boil, then decrease to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
  • Serve with french bread, rice, or noodles.


Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 890mg | Potassium: 912mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6185IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4mg