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Thai Red Curry Paste

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

Red Curry Paste is a fragrant base for many Thai dishes. You can make a bigger batch and store it in the fridge or freezer.

What Chilli to use in Thai Red Curry Paste?

Traditionally the dry red spur chillies are used, they are more fragrant than spicy but their availability may be a problem for some of you. To substitute I recommend dried Ancho Chilli or 2 fresh red chillies with 2tsp of mild chilli powder.

Can I substitute Galangal with Ginger?

You can but I do not recommend it, these are two completely different ingredients with different flavour and aroma. Ginger is fresh, spicy and citrusy where Galangal is more sweet, floral and earthy. Using ginger instead will not spoil the paste but it will give it a completely different base to work with.

I cannot get a Shrimp paste what to use instead?

Fresh, cooked shrimps with a teaspoon of fish sauce can be a good substitute. You can prepare paste without it and use only fish sauce instead.

Thai Red Curry Paste in the bowl
Thai Red Curry Paste

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Ingredients for 5tbsp:

  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and sliced

  • 3tsp of dried red spur chilli or Ancho Chilli

  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 small shallot, peeled diced

  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped

  • 25g of galangal (thumb-size piece, use root part only) peeled and sliced

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, the first layer of skin removed, finely sliced

  • 1/2tsp shrimp paste or 1tbsp of cooked shrimps with 1tsp of fish sauce

  • 1tsp of salt

  • 1/2tsp ground black or white pepper

  • 1/2tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2tsp ground coriander

  • 1/2tsp salt

  • 1tbsp vegetable oil

Thai Red Curry Paste Ingredients on the tray
Thai Red Curry Paste Ingredients


1. Prepare all the ingredients as instructed above (chopping ingredients prior to blending helps to make a more smooth paste).

2. Combine them by mashing in this type of mortar and pestle or this kind of small food processor for time savers.

3. A prepared paste can be stored in the fridge in a jar for a couple of weeks, alternatively, you can portion it and freeze it for future use.

Here is some of my recipes with Thai Red Curry Paste:

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