Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe

Thai Red Curry Paste is a spicy, easy-to-make, and flavor-bursting condition that is one of the main ingredients used in Thai red curry. It is usually prepared with dry red chilies, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, and other fresh ingredients. The recipe I have shared here shows you how to make Thai Red Curry Paste with easy step-by-step instructions for you to try and enjoy at home.

I have also shared a detailed video of this recipe below to make the cooking process simple. This homemade red curry paste is used in most Thai currieslike Thai red curry with vegetablesThai red curry with chicken, soups, stir-fries, and more. And the best part is it stays fresh for weeks in the refrigerator and up to a month in the freezer.

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What is Thai Red Curry Paste?

Thai Red Curry Paste is a spicy, savory and popular Thai condiment loaded with fresh flavors. It is usually made with dry red chilies, galangal, lemongrass, shallots, herbs, and spices. Especially the fish sauce and shrimp paste used in authentic recipes deliver the savory umami flavors that make them unique and irresistible.

This red curry paste is usually spicy due to the addition of red chilies and looks vibrant red. However, you may not feel the spiciness when used in curries because of the coconut milk in Thai Red Curries. As many of you know, coconut milk has the nature to decrease the spiciness in hot curries.

Even though you may find a lot of Red Curry Paste jars in stores, making them at home is always fresh. Because we know what ingredients go in and how fresh they are. And it is also totally free from artificial preservatives.

Ingredients

The ingredients you will need to make this Thai Red Curry Paste are basic Asian pantry elements that should be available in most Asian grocery stores. So let’s see what they are below.

Thai red curry paste ingredients placed on a light gray table
  • Dry Red Chili – Dry red chilies soaked for at least 15 minutes in water. I have used regular dry red chilies that are usually available in Indian groceries. Here I have used the chilies with seeds but make sure to remove the seeds if you cannot tolerate the spice level
  • Galangal – Citrusy ginger look-alike root that delivers a fresh citrusy aroma to Thai curries
  • Lemongrass – remove the outer tough layer and use the inner layer
  • Fish Sauce and Shrimp Paste – An important ingredient that delivers a salt, savory, and umami taste to most Thai dishes. I have also recommended some substitutions in the tips sections if that’s not handy
  • Shallots and Garlic – Delivers the fresh curry flavors to the paste
  • Coriander and Cumin Seeds – delivers the nutty, slightly lemony flavor to the red curry paste
  • Fresh Herb – Coriander leaves and stems for achieving a fresh aroma and taste
  • Kaffir Leaves – Delivers the authentic taste of the paste since it was not handy, I substituted it with lemon juice

For a detailed ingredients list, Please check out the recipe card below.

How to make Thai Red Curry Paste?

The recipe I have shared here is a basic Thai Red Curry Paste that is widely used in most Thai dishes. This red curry paste can be used in the recipes that call for it and it delivers the authentic taste and flavor to the dishes.

Thai red curry paste in a square white bowl placed on a dark gray table

Following are the high-level instructions to make this recipe but for detailed step-by-step instructions with photos and video, please check out the recipe card below.

  • Add – add the dry red chilies and pour warm water into a bowl
  • Soak – Let the chilies soak for at least 15 minutes and drain and reserve them for later use. Do not discard the chili-soaked water, as we need them for grinding the paste
  • Add the ingredients – In a blender jar, add the soaked chilies and other ingredients mentioned in the ingredient list above
  • Blend – Close the lid and blend everything until it turns into a smooth paste
  • Store – Open the lid and store the red curry paste in an air-tight container

How to use this Paste?

The paste is ready but now you may have a question, how do I use this Thai Red Curry Paste? The answer is simple, just add the required amount of this homemade red curry paste to your Thai curry that calls for it. But make sure to fry the paste in oil until it turns fragrant to achieve a delicious flavor. This step is more important because we have used all the raw ingredients for making this paste.

Red Curry Vs Green Curry Paste

If you compare the red curry paste with green curry pasteit is moderately spicy since the green curry paste is made with hot Thai green chilies.

Tips

  • Red Chilies and Spice Level – This paste is typically spicy due to the addition of dry red chilies but it gets subtle in Thai red curries as we use coconut milk. However, you can control the spice by removing the seeds from the dry red chilies
  • Galangal – It looks similar to ginger but with a citrusy taste profile. But you can substitute it with ginger if that is not handy
  • Fish Sauce and Shrimp Paste – Authentic Thai curries usually use fish sauce and shrimp paste that delivers the salty, savory, and umami taste to the dish. But you can substitute it with vegan or veg fish sauce and oyster sauce for a vegetarian or vegan-friendly version

Storage Suggestions

This Thai Red Curry Paste stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week in a closed container. You can also store them in individual serving-size freezer-friendly bags and store them for up to a month in the freezer.

Serving Suggestions

Use this Red Curry Paste in Thai Curries with vegetables, chicken, or shrimp that call for it. You can also use it in most Asian soups, stews, or stir-fries for fresh Thai flavors.

You could also find similar recipes below and more at condiment recipes and Asian recipes.

More Thai recipes:

Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe Video

I have also shared a detailed video of this Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe below that I hope will help you to make an authentic dish at home.

📖 Recipe

Thai red curry paste in a square white bowl placed on a dark gray table

Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai Red Curry Paste is a simple, easy-to-make, and flavor-bursting condiment. It is usually prepared with dry red chilies, shallots, garlic, galangal, and other fresh ingredients that are pounded or blended in a processor. This homemade red curry paste is one of the best flavor enhancers used in most Thai curries, like vegetable Thai red curry, chicken Thai red curry, soups, stir-fries, and more. And the best part is this homemade version stays fresh for weeks in the refrigerator and up to a month in the freezer.

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Review

Course: Dips & Condiments

Cuisine: Asian, Thai

Prep: 15th mins

Cook: 5 mins

Adjust 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 18 Dry Red Chili, soaked in water, remove seeds if needed
  • 1 tbsp Lemongrass, remove the outer thick layer and use the inner part
  • 1 tsp Galangal, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds, crushed or grounded
  • ½ tsp Cumin Powder
  • 3 Shalots, small onion
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Leaves, stem and leaves chopped
  • ½ tsp Shrimp Paste in oil, or oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice, or 3 kaffir lime leaves if handy
  • 3 tbsp Chili Soaked Water
  • ½ tsp Fish Sauce, substitute with veg or vegan fish sauce
  • 2 Thai Red Chili, optional

More on Measurements & Conversions »

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Instructions

To make Thai Red Curry Paste

To serve

  • Use this Thai Red Curry Paste in the recipes that call for it like Thai red curry with vegetables, Chicken Thai red curry, and store the remaining in the refrigerator for up to a week

Video

Notes

  • Red Chilies and Spice Level – Red Curry paste is typically spicy due to the addition of dry red chilies but it gets mellow downed in Thai red curries as we use coconut milk. However, you can control the spice by removing the seeds of the dry red chilies if you cannot handle the spice
  • Galangal – It looks similar to ginger but with a citrusy taste profile but you can substitute it with ginger if that is not handy
  • Fish Sauce and Shrimp Paste – Authentic Thai curries usually use fish sauce and shrimp paste that delivers the salty, savory, and umami taste to the dish. But you can substitute it with vegan or veg fish sauce and oyster sauce for a vegetarian or vegan-friendly version

Nutrition

Serving: 3tbsp | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monnounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

FAQ

What is Thai Red Curry Paste?

It is a spicy, savory and popular Thai condiment loaded with fresh flavors. It is usually made with dry red chilies, galangal, lemongrass, shallots, herbs, and spices. Especially the fish sauce and shrimp paste used in authentic recipes deliver the savory umami flavors that make them unique and irresistible.

How do I use Thai Red Curry Paste?

Add the required amount of this homemade red curry paste to your Thai curry that calls for it. But make sure to fry the paste in oil until the paste turns fragrant to achieve a delicious flavor. This step is more important because we have used all the raw ingredients for making this paste.

What can I substitute for Thai Red Curry Paste?

The closest substitute to Thai Red Curry Paste is harissa paste but you will miss the fresh salty, umami flavors in the substitutes that are popular in Thai dishes.

How spicy is this Red Curry Paste?

Red Curry paste is typically spicy due to the addition of dry red chilies but it gets subtle in Thai red curries as we use coconut milk. However, you can control the spice by removing the seeds from the dry red chilies.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe that I have shared here and I would love to hear from you about how it turned out for you. Please let me know.

If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Cooking!

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