Chef’s says ‘fresh is best’ for the most authentic Thai green curry – recipe

Thai cuisine is easy to recreate with ready-made sauces and pastes, but those looking to cook a dish from scratch may find it more complicated.

However, according to Michelin, award-winning chef and founder of Farang London, Sebby Holmes, it doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

Speaking exclusively to, he claimed that mastering the art of Thai food – in particular, his green mussel curry recipe comes down to a handful of fundamentals – the ingredients, balance of flavours, and time spent working on the dish.

He said: “Thai cuisine uses many different techniques, and some dishes are cooked very quickly at high temperatures, like stir-fries. Others require love and patience, like a curry. 

“This means it’s imperative to prepare and organise before starting the cooking process. Make sure to have all your herbs picked, vegetables chopped, proteins prepped, and pantry ingredients measured out.”

READ MORE: Keep bread fresh for days with handy tip to ‘keep it from moulding’

Sebby continued: “Fresh is best when it comes to vegetables, fruits and herbs in Thai cooking. It’s becoming easier and easier to source fresh, Thai and Asian ingredients, readily available in the UK.

“In terms of meat and fish, we have some seriously delicious stuff here in the UK. If you’re unsure, ask your local grocer, fish monger or butcher what has recently landed in-store/what is the freshest and base your dishes around these ingredients.”

And while his green curry recipe uses ready-seasoned Payste rather than standard paste mixtures, he warned against the over-use of additives like fish sauce.

He said: “Always remember, fish sauce is your friend – dubbed the ‘salt of Thailand’ it adds a delicious, savoury, umami depth to your food. You can always add but you cannot take away so season cautiously.

“I recommend using seaweed sauce instead of fish sauce if you are vegan or vegetarian as it’s the most similar in flavour profile. To counterbalance the salty fish sauce, also remember the Four S’s, sweet, salty, sour and spicy. If you combine these four s’s in the right way your guests are going to have a good time.”

Thai green curry ingredients

Serves six:

  • 1kg fresh mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
  • 200g, pre-seasoned green curry Payst 
  • 50ml coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 200ml fish or chicken stock
  • 250ml coconut cream
  • Two makrut lime leaves, torn to release flavour
  • One to two tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 20 fresh Thai basil (a handful)
  • 20g wild ginger, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • Steamed jasmine rice to serve

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Start by preparing all of the fresh ingredients before cooking. In this case, it includes the ginger, lime leaves, basil and mussels,

Then, move on to the jasmine rice. The chef said: “Remember to wash your rice thoroughly before cooking and use a rice cooker if you can.”

Next, heat the oil in a large wok to medium heat (ideally with a removable lid for later). When hot, add the green curry paste and the torn makrut lime leaves.

Continue to fry the paste for two to three minutes in the oil, making sure to scrape from the pan regularly, so it does not stick. When the paste has begun to darken, de-glaze the pan with one tablespoon of fish sauce, all the stock and half the cream, then bring to a simmer.

Once simmering, add all the mussels and the wild ginger, give a gentle shake so all the mussels are submerged and then place the lid upon the wok. Continue to simmer with the lid on for four to five minutes until all the mussels are open.

When it’s all cooked, turn off the heat and remove any mussels that have not opened as they are inedible. Gently mix in the rest of the coconut cream and the Thai basil and then taste.

If it requires a little more salt, then add another dash of fish sauce, then serve in a large sharing bowl with fresh steamed jasmine rice.

An optional garnish of Thai basil sprigs, lime cheeks, chopped sawtooth coriander, pickled ginger and cucumber and julienne makrut lime leaves are perfect for this dish. 

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