Cambodian Curry Somlar Kari Saek Mouan

Cambodian Chicken Curry Recipe

Cambodian Chicken curry is an aromatic chicken curry using coconut milk, red curry paste, Khmer yellow kroeung, and a variety of vegetables. A traditional Cambodian curry that is both versatile and delicious!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Cambodian, Khmer
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 600 kcal
Author Yuen Mi | A Wandering Foodie


  • 1 kg mature chicken cut into bite size pieces
  • 10 pieces long green bean cut into 2-3 inche pieces
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 large carrots
  • 1 bamboo shoot
  • 2 thai eggplants
  • 5 pieces kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cans coconut milk 398ml
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 4 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 5 pieces star anises
  • 1 piece long cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup kroeung
  • 3 tablespoon chicken stock
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 pieces red eye chilli


  1. For kroeung paste: in a blender, blend together 1/2 cup kroeung, 3 tbsp chicken stock, 2 shallots and 2 fresh bird eye peppers to make a thick creamy paste.
  2. Heat the cinnamon stick and star anise together in an aluminium foil for 3-5 minutes, and set it aside.
  3. Heat 1 can of coconut milk in a large pot over medium-high heat. Let it boil, only stirring it occasionally so it doesn't burn. Eventually, oil and aroma are released, and the consistency becomes thick. Love that scent!
  4. Add in red curry paste, *pepper paste, shrimp paste, kroeung paste, salt, fish sauce and sugar. Stir on medium heat until most of the liquid are gone, and it is of thick consistency. Remove 1 tbsp of the curry mixture and set it aside.
  5. Add chicken and stir. Add the cinnamon stick and star anise into the chicken and stir to mix thoroughly.
  6. Once the chicken is completely coated with the curry mixture and is a bit cooked on the outside, add in one can of coconut milk. Let it boil for at least 20 minutes, and then add the potato and carrots. Stir. Let it cook for another 10 minutes.
  7. Add the long beans, bamboo shoots, Thai eggplants, white onion and the curry mixture that was set aside. For a more fragrant aroma, tear pieces of kaffir lime leaves and stir it in. Simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes or when the vegetable and chicken are cooked. Taste and adjust with salt, sugar and fish sauce to your liking.

  8. Once cooked, serve with a steaming bowl of rice or vermicelli noodle, or even French bread. It goes deliciously with all.

Recipe Notes

*If you like your curry more spicy, make some pepper paste and put in an amount to your liking: Soak large dried chilli in water for 15 minutes. Blend it into liquid. Set aside 1/4 cup of the pepper paste for this recipe and store the rest in a glass container. The pepper paste should be good for a week. The amount of pepper paste you use is depended on your preference. I prefer my curry with a little kick, so I tend to use a lot more when I'm cooking just for myself.

The amount of vegetables used is really up to you. Some people prefer their curry more watery, and some prefer it more dry or creamy. This recipe, the curry will come out creamy, but if you want more liquid, just ad one more can of coconut milk at step 5 and adjust to taste with fish sauce, salt and sugar.