Mom’s Bamboo Shoot Chicken Curry

I find that when googling Thai curry recipes, the majority consists of peanuts, coconut milk and a hodgepodge of what seems to be multiple Thai recipes thrown into one pot…and when that’s not enough, rice noodles sometimes join the party to create something that’s not really a Thai dish at all. But that’s okay because it’s inspired, still spreads the Thai gospel and most of all, it’s delicious. HOWEVER, in thinking of actual Thai dishes, since the flavors are so complex and developed, simple applications using curry paste like in this recipe celebrate the ingredients and provide way more variety than a muddled creamy coconut stew.
Mom’s “Bamboo Chicken” was a genius dish when she first introduced “exotic food” back in the day. And it’s probably the most requested dish at our new restaurant from patrons of the old place. We actually don’t serve it because I try to steer away from canned things and foraging for bamboo shoots (though we’ve done it) doesn’t fit in my schedule. Hopefully this will satiate the cravings.
As with just about every recipe on this site, feel free to substitute any protein you wish for the same deliciousness!


bamboo shoots
red curry paste
makrut lime leaves
fish sauce
Thai chiles
Thai basil


Step 1

Cut fresh bamboo shoots into bite-sized pieces and boil for about 5 minutes.

Step 2

In a wok with oil, bloom the red curry paste with chicken along with makrut leaves. Season with fish sauce and let it all boil down.

Step 3

As chicken begins to finish cooking, add boiled bamboo, Thai chiles and basil, sugar, and stir well.

Step 4

Add broth or water and let simmer if you prefer a softer texture. Serve with rice.

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