Some things are hard to mess up. Like this easy Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry, paired with off-dry Riesling. It’s difficult to overcook, as creamy coconut milk keeps the chicken tender. And even if you’re heavy-handed on the spice, off-dry Riesling has the sweetness and acidity to refresh your palate after the myriad of spicy, salty, sweet, and sour flavors that come with Thai cuisine. Also, the one-stop Instant Pot halves the time you need to cook — and clean.
The Wine Pairing
Off-dry Riesling has just enough sweetness and fruit to meld with curry’s vibrant spices. In particular, we recommend a German Riesling Spätlese for its clean acidity and crystalline minerality, which will cut through the richness of the dish. If you can’t find a Spätlese, an off-dry Californian Riesling is your second best bet. It will have less minerality, but will still have the sweetness to tame the a fiery curry (ex.: V. Sattui Off-Dry Riesling).
In this case, the wine pairing we chose was Weingut Robert Weil Tradition 2016. This particular bottle was sold at Costco for under $20, and offers incredible value. 2016 was the second warmest year in 130 years for the Rheingau, creating a fuller-bodied Riesling that still has that classic brisk minerality. The Tradition has tantalizing aromatics of white peach, golden apple, lime zest, and blossoms. On the palate, it’s a beautiful balance of fruit, crisp acidity, and zippy minerality.
Even if you don’t have all of the ingredients, Thai curry is a wonderfully forgiving dish. As long as you have the essential soup components — curry paste, coconut milk, chicken broth, and fish sauce — the add-ins are variable. You can swap chicken for tofu, throw in a handful of kale, or even top with chopped peanuts.
To note, we’ve found most store-bought curry paste to be only mildly spicy. If you want a hotter dish, it’s worth buying a bird’s eye chili or two to amp up the spice.
Easy Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry and Riesling
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb chicken (thigh recommended, but breast works too)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 2 tsp fish sauce, or more to taste
- 1 can bamboo shoots
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup additional vegetables of your choice: we recommend peas, mushrooms, red cabbage, carrots, and/or canned baby corn
- Optional: 1-2 additional bird’s eye chili, if you want a hot dish
- Cooked white rice for serving
- Add olive oil to Instant Pot and select sauté function. Once oil is heated, sauté ginger, garlic until golden, 2-3 minutes.
- Add chicken, sauté 3 more minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, and any harder vegetables like carrots or mushrooms.
- Close lid and switch to high pressure mode for 7 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of natural release.
- Carefully open the lid, switch to sauté mode, and add any remaining vegetables that you want to be crisp and less cooked, such as peas and bell peppers. If curry is too watery, sauté longer to your preferred consistency. If it’s not spicy enough, add additional chili.
- Serve over cooked white rice, paired with off-dry Riesling.