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Thai Red Curry Paste (with Vegetarian Option)

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Adjust Servings:
1 tsp Coriander Seeds roasted
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds roasted
1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns roasted
2 tsp Shrimp Paste (Vegetarians Omit)
20 pcs Dried Red Chillis Soak in water for 10 minutes and deseeded
8 pcs Small Red Chillis
4 tbsp Lemongrass Thick bottom third only. Hard outer leaves removed and sliced.
2 tsp Galangal Ginger Sliced
2 tsp Kaffir Lime rind sliced
4 tsp Shallot Sliced
6 tbsp Garlic Sliced
2 tbsp Coriander root Chopped

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Thai Red Curry Paste (with Vegetarian Option)

Authentic Thai Red Curry Paste

  • 20 min
  • Serves 8
  • Easy




I love Thai food. But because of my years in China, I was not able to get Thai food easily. So I used to bring over jars of tom yam pastes and packets of curry pastes. It was only after returning to Singapore that I learned how to cook Tom Yam from scratch and was honestly surprised how easy it is.

Then I went for Thai cooking class at Silom Thai Cooking School recently during a Bangkok trip and oh my, Thai food can be so easy to prepare! But of course as with all curries, we need to prepare the paste first so that when we prepare the curry, it is much easier. You can always prepare the paste for a few times use at one go. It makes your life a whole lot easier and trust me, the taste of this curry beats those store bought pastes and even some of the Thai restaurants’ hands down.

Ok, truth be told, the toughest part of this recipe is deseeding the dried red chillies because of the quantities used. I used gloves bought from Guardian to protect my hands from stinging. Then using a pair of scissors, I snipped open the chills and scraped out the seeds quite easily. It is just a little tedious. If you an get deseeded ones, go ahead. Or get chilli paste but just check that the ingredients in there are what is needed for this paste and don’t have other stuff. Then you just have to adjust the portions for other ingredients as well.

Thai Red Curry Paste Ingredients
And then I forgot my Kaffir Lime rind…. Added halfway through blitzing. So missing from this picture. -_-

Actually, while you are doing one paste, why not prepare a few more? I mean you will see from below that you will have left over ingredients. Unless you only have half a lime… Or you can up this recipe and prepare more. I will share other Thai curry pastes like Green Curry Paste, Yellow Curry Paste and Masaman Curry paste soon…. If not, do remind me.

For the shrimp paste, it is totally optional. I made a silat mistake and grabbed Shrimp Sauce from my pantry instead and only registered that I grabbed the wrong sauce after I dumped 1 tsp into the blender. OOPS! But ok, good news is that you actually can’t taste the difference. LOL…. So if you do not have Shrimp PASTE at home, it is ok to skip it. I skipped it once and tastes fine. This is the only non-vegetarian ingredient in the paste. So omit this and this is a Vegetarian friendly recipe (unless you do not even take garlic…. Then this is not for you.)

Now that you have the Thai Red Curry Paste, we can proceed to making Thai Red Curry!


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15 min

Prepare all ingredients as per list above

Soak the dried chillis in water for 10 minutes.

Roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorn in a pan over medium-high heat, stirring quickly till the aroma is released. Set aside to cool.

Cut all the ingredients into small pieces, including the dried red chiilis.

3-5 min

Grind Paste

Throw all the ingredients into a grinder or pestle and mortar and grind into a fine paste.

Prepare a clean air tight jar and transfer paste into jar for storage. Label and refrigerate. Keep up to 1 month or till it gets stinky and mouldy. =P Freeze for a longer storage.


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