Thai Red Curry Paste

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“From Darlene Schmidt,Your Guide to Thai Food. Here's what she says,"This Thai red curry paste recipe is red hot! Check your spice-o-meter when preparing this paste, adding less fresh chili if you prefer milder dishes. Red curry paste makes for excellent Thai curry, including curry chicken and seafood curries, vegetarian curries, or noodles." I have made some slight changes. Enjoy!”
1 batch

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 shallots, sliced (or scallion if shallots not available)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (or 2 tsp. lemon zest)
  • 1 -3 red chilies (more or less-depending on how spicy you like it) or 1 -3 teaspoon thai red chili sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches slice gingerroot, peeled and sliced thin (may be substituted with galangal)
  • 14 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, ground with pestle & mortar (or a coffee grinder)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (available at Asian grocers, or vegetarian 'fish' sauce or soy sauce if unavailable)
  • 12 teaspoon lime zest (or 1 kaffir lime leaf)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 12 tablespoons chili powder
  • 13 cup coconut milk (or more, enough to keep the blades turning)


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process well.
  2. To use immediately, fry the paste in some oil to release flavors before adding meat, tofu or wheat gluten, or vegetables.
  3. Add more coconut milk, as desired. Include the leftover pieces of lemongrass(if using) in your cooking pot - this will add more flavor to the curry.
  4. Before serving, always do a taste test. If not salty enough, add more fish sauce (or vegetarian fish sauce, or soy sauce). If too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice. If too sour, add a little more sugar. If too spicy, add more coconut milk or a little plain yogurt.
  5. When serving, sprinkle fresh coriander and/or ground nuts over the curry.
  6. Store paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (or longer - the spices will help to preserve it).

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