Thai Red Curry Paste is simple to make from scratch and is perfect for making all of your favorite Thai recipes at home, including curries and soups. Perfectly savory, spicy, and delicious, it’s easy to modify many of the ingredients and adjust the heat level – you’ll never want to buy pre-made store-bought curry paste again!
Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste
I learned how to make this delicious homemade curry paste recipe while in Thailand and perfected it back home. It’s great to have authentic red curry paste on hand for various Thai dishes like coconut milk chicken curry, Thai chicken curry noodle soup, or this Thai peanut chicken! Curry is a staple in Thai cuisine, and for a good reason. The spicy, savory flavor is sure to excite your taste buds (but the heat level is totally adjustable–if you prefer a mild curry, omit the small red chilies). It’s easy to make, too, with just a few dried spices and fresh ingredients in a blender or food processor, it’s ready in no time.
What is a Kaffir Lime?
Kaffir limes are a type of citrus fruit native to tropical Southeast Asia. They’re tough to find in the U.S., so they might not be available at your local grocery store, but you can try Asian markets in your area. They’re known for their intensely citrusy scent and taste, with spicy and woody notes but with less acidity than regular limes. Orange peels make a great substitute in a pinch!
How to Make Red Curry Paste
Place the ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime (or orange peel), chopped shallots, garlic, salt, anchovy or shrimp paste, small and large dried red chilies, pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, cardamom pods, and fresh cilantro in a heavy-duty blender or food processor. Blend everything until smooth, slowly adding water as needed.
How Can You Use Red Curry Paste?
Red curry paste is primarily used to make curry sauce by adding it to coconut milk. You can then serve it with meat or tofu, rice, and veggies (like green beans, pumpkin, and sweet potato). It can also be rubbed directly on meat as a marinade or mixed with sweet butter to create a compound butter for meats. You can use it to add flavor to soups or stews or mix it with vinegar or yogurt to make a flavorful salad dressing. Mix it with mayo to add to sandwiches, or even throw a bit in your pasta sauce or scrambled eggs.
Storage and Freezing
Store this red curry paste in an airtight container in your fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze it in 2-4 tablespoon amounts (i.e., in an ice cube tray with a drizzle of oil) for up to three months.
More Sauce/Paste/Condiment Recipes:
If you try making this Red Curry Paste Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Red Curry Paste
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger - peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass - lower 1/3 chopped
- 2 teaspoon kaffir lime - peeled and chopped (substitute orange peel)
- ¼ cup shallots - chopped
- 3 tablespoon fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon shrimp or anchovy paste
- 10 small dried red chillies - to make it spicy, use less if you prefer a more mild curry
- 3 large dried red chillies - seeds removed and soaked in water for 15 minutes
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 cardamom pods - roasted and ground
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- water - as needed
- Place all ingredients into a heavy duty blender or food processor. Slowly add water as needed and blend until smooth. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze and store in 2-4 tablespoon amounts for later use.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
Pam Brown says
Like yourself i have spent a great deal of time in Thailand love the food and the people. Thank you for that great recipe. Do you make a thai green paste. Also my tiny pork balls served in broth never taste the same as in Thailand .maybe I am just missing the atmosphere. Many thanks Pam.
Jessica Randhawa says
I do not have a green curry paste on my site yet… and yes, there is definitely something in the Thai atmosphere 😉