Jane Barnes shares how to make a spicy Thai green curry from scratch, with lobster, bush chillies and decadent coconut cream.






Skill level

Average: 4 (11 votes)


  • 500 ml (2 cups) coconut cream
  • 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 4 long pieces fresh bamboo shoots, cut into thin rectangles (see Notes)
  • 6 pea, or Thai, eggplants
  • 6 baby eggplants, cut into quarters
  • 1 string fresh green peppercorns (or 2 tsp tinned green peppercorns)
  • ½ bunch Thai basil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 cooked lobster, meat removed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp grated palm sugar, or to taste
  • 300 g soft coconut flesh
  • 2 long red chillies
  • 2 long green chillies
  • 40 whole small bush chillies, or to taste (left whole so you get the flavour not the heat)
  • sea salt flakes, to taste
  • 10 makrut lime leaves, finely shredded

Thai green curry paste

  • 3-cm piece young ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3-cm piece galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped
  • 1 makrut lime, rind
  • 4 makrut lime leaves, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch coriander roots, leaves reserved for garnish
  • 1 string fresh green peppercorns (or 2 tsp tinned green peppercorns)
  • 2 small red Asian shallots, chopped
  • 4-cm piece fresh turmeric, chopped
  • 6 long green chillies, chopped
  • sea salt flakes
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste

To serve

  • steamed Jasmine rice
  • fish sauce

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. For the curry paste, pound the ginger, galangal, lemongrass, makrut peel and leaves in a mortar and pestle with the makrut zest and leaves until a coarse paste forms. Add the garlic, coriander roots, peppercorns, shallots, turmeric, chillies and a good pinch of salt flakes and pound into a paste. Add the shrimp paste and pound until well combined. I find my paste is never as smooth as the tinned paste but I’m really happy with that.
  2. For the sauce, pour the coconut milk and coconut cream into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the green curry paste and chicken stock powder and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Add the bamboo shoots and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the eggplants, peppercorns, Thai basil and lobster and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the palm sugar, coconut flesh, chillies. Taste the sauce as you go along, if it’s too hot just add a little more palm sugar to balance it out and if it needs to be saltier just add salt.
  4. To serve, stir the shredded makrut leaves through the curry and serve scattered with extra Thai basil leaves, with steamed rice and fish sauce on the side (see Notes).



If you can’t find fresh bamboo shoots, use 2 x 230 g cans drained bamboo shoots instead.

A lot of people think that Nam Pla (fish sauce) is used in all Thai cooking. We use it more like salt at the table, adding it to our plates of food.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.