Thai Jungle Curry Recipe

Beef and vegetable Thai curry made with easy to find ingredients.

Thai Jungle Curry Recipe

Some Thai recipes are actually very easy to make, like this Thai jungle curryI’m sharing with you today. The original Thai recipe calls for small green eggplants but they can be very hard to find, so I’ve substituted them for zucchini, as the texture is similar (American eggplant is too spongy and seedy).

I’m very picky when it comes to eating Thai food because I was there for almost a whole year. I spent many months modeling and eating my way across Thailand for work and pleasure. I tasted flavors from cities like Bangkok and Pattaya, fresh seafood by the beaches in Phuket, Northern delicacies in Chiang Mai, and street food noodle soups and stir fries near the Golden triangle, where Laos, Burma and Thailand meet by the Mekong river. Thailand has some of the best food I’ve ever had so it was a pleasant surprise to find out that I could recreate some of these flavors here at home!
I like this particular Thai jungle curry because of the strong floral aromatics the kaffir lime leaves bring to the dish: It makes this jungle curry dish distinctively Thai. The peppercorns pop into your mouth and release heat, so get ready for plenty of interesting flavors to hit your palate when eating this Thai jungle curry!
Finding kaffir lime leaves: Kaffir lime leaves can be hard to find but the good news is they keep in the freezer for a very long time. Whenever I visit a Thai grocery store, I stock up on lime leaves and put them in my freezer. As long as they’re tightly sealed, they’ll keep for a few months. I am usually able to make two to three batches of Thai jungle curry with one small bag of  fresh lime leaves.

Thai Jungle Curry

thai jungle curry

This is a classic recipe for Thai Jungle Curry. A strong presence of peppercorns makes this curry hot and unique.

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Curry
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • 1 thumb size fresh ginger (cut into strips (julienned))
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 small carrots (peeled and cut into strips)
  • 1 small zucchini (cut into strips)
  • 20 green beans (cut in half lengthwise)
  • 3/4 lb lean beef steak (cut into strips)
  • 15 leaves basil (roughly chopped)
  • 6 leaves kaffir lime (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat, then add garlic, ginger and cook for two minutes.
  2. Add curry paste, stir well, cook for a minute and add beef strips. Cook for a few minutes (until beef has cooked through) and add water.
  3. Stir and add fish sauce, sugar and lime leaves. Stir well.
  4. Add vegetables and peppercorns, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until vegetables are softer but still crisp.
  5. Turn the heat off, add basil, stir and serve.


My favorite products for this recipe:

Red Boat Fish Sauce – All natural, 100% pure.

Kaffir Lime Leaves – brings a unique taste to Thai dishes.


  • Calories: 278
  • Saturated Fat: 5
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