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Southern Thai yellow curry with tuna


1 hr

Pretty Easy

Kanom Jeen rice noodles to the South is what sticky rice is to the North of Thailand; found in every home, street stalls, fresh markets and road-side shacks. A bowl of curry is never without its rice noodles; it’s the ultimate fast food. This recipe was inspired by my latest visit to Trang province but with a slight tweak using canned tuna (for convenience). My mentor, Auntie Jitt, makes her own curry paste, which she and I both agree, is the best way to go with every curry dish.


Southern Thai yellow curry


  • Yellow curry paste

  • Makes 640g (or 10 portions)

  • 100g lesser galangal

  • 100g galangal

  • 20g garlic, peeled

  • 100g bird's eyes chillies

  • 100g dried chillies

  • 40g crushed black pepper

  • 100g shrimp paste

  • 50g lemongrass, roughly chopped

  • Yellow curry 

  • 40 g fish balls (cooked, frozen ones available from most Asian supermarkets, leave out if unavailable)

  • 64 g yellow curry paste (or 1 portion)

  • 250 ml coconut milk

  • 2 cans tuna chunks in brine

  • To serve

  • Cooked vermicelli rice noodles (1 portion per person)

  • 2 boiled eggs, halved

  • A handful of shredded iceberg lettuce

  • A handful of mint

  • A handful of Thai holy basil (or Italian ones)

  • A handful of pickled mustard green (available from Asian supermarkets)

  • Any other cooked green vegetables of your choice




  1. Yellow curry paste
  2. Mix all ingredients in pestle and mortar for 45 minutes until smooth (or cheat at use food processor).
  3. Will last in refrigerator for 4-6 weeks, and up to 6 months in the freezer.
  4. Yellow curry
  5. Heat curry paste with a small amount of coconut milk for about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the rest of the coconut milk and mix thoroughly.
  7. Add tuna chunks and fish balls and cook for a few minutes until warmed through.
  8. Served hot with Kanom Jeen noodles and fresh vegetables.


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