Thai red curry paste

Red curry paste is a key ingredient for many thai dishes. You can buy paste from most asian supermarkets, but it always tastes better when you make it yourself. It will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. Thanks again to “Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet” by Alford and Duguid for the recipe.

Preparation time
Cooking time
1 1/4 cups


  • 1 ½ cups of dried thai red chiles
  • 1 ½ tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped coriander roots
  • ¼ cup of coarsely chopped galangal
  • 1 teaspoon minced lime zest
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons shrimp paste

Break the stems off of the chiles and discard, together with the seeds. Break the chiles into pieces, place in a bowl and cover with hot water. Place a small lid on top to keep the chiles submerged. Let soak for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over a medium-high heat add the coriander seeds and dry roast, occasionally shaking the pan until aromatic and beginning to change colour (about 3 minutes). ransfer to a mortar and repeat with the cumin seeds, for about 1 minute. Repeat with peppercorns, roasting just long enough to heat them (about 1 minute). Use a pestle to pound the spices together into a powder. Add the lemongrass, coriander roots, and galangal and pound until reduced to a paste. Add the lime zest and pound to blend. Add the garlic, shallots and salt and pound to a smooth paste.Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Drain the chiles, place in the mortar, and pound to a paste – this will take a few minutes. When the chiles are fairly smooth, add the shrimp paste and pound together. Add the reserved spice paste and pound together. Store in a well-sealed glass container in the refrigerator for 2-3 months. Makes 1 1/4 cups of paste.

One Comments

  1. I have to admit it’s never occurred to me to make my own. Will have to give this a try sometime.

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