Fresh Thai red curry paste is the fragrant, spicy mixture that gives your curries and sauces layers of flavor. It’s so fresh and so good and so easy you’ll be asking yourself why you ever used the prepackaged versions. So, grab your mortar and pestle (or your food processor) and let’s make us some paste.
Quality beats convenience
I used to buy packages of Thai red curry paste, but I was never completely satisfied with the experience. There is the inevitable label reading to ensure that said paste is free from animal products. Be careful here, off-the-shelf red curry pastes often contain shrimp paste. Also, good prepared Thai red curry pastes can be expensive, plus they often contain added oil and other ingredients you may not want.
Fresh Thai red curry paste calling heat control
We like the hot stuff around here, but I removed the seeds of some of the dry chilis so that the heat wouldn’t overwhelm all the other wonderful flavors included in the paste. Chili up at your own risk.
Fresh Thai red curry paste starts with the dry spices
There’s an ‘in order of appearance’ technique to making fresh Thai red curry paste from scratch. Toasting the coriander, cumin and white peppercorns takes a few minutes, but it releases the oils of the spices and gets you on your way to Thai red curry paste excellence.
If you are using your pestle and mortal or more recently advanced technologies such as a blender or food processor, it all begins the same way. After a quick spice toast, add the chilis and start releasing any inner demons.
Worth the effort
Don’t be fooled by the tough exterior of the lemongrass. It’s all an act. Give it some attention by cutting off the bulb at the bottom and peeling it before slicing.
After the warm up, get in the game
Now that you’ve warmed up by grinding the spices, take on the rest. It’s an opportunity for a little upper body workout. You get time to go through your growing ques of podcasts (I’m so sorry, Plant Yourself, I’ve been neglecting you), catch up on that audio book or grab some tunes if you need some extra pounding oomph.
I’m a girl who likes her convenience, but not at the cost of quality. It’s why I’d rather walk than drive. I don’t mind the extra time because I get so much more from the journey and I can put it to good use by taking a moment to think, to listen, to enjoy. It makes the experience richer, fresher and more rewarding. Time well spent. Peace.Print
Fresh Thai red curry paste – learn to make this fragrant, spicy and healthy mixture from scratch and take your favorite Thai recipes to the next level of flavor.
- 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp. white peppercorns
- 10 dried red chilis
- 3 dried kaffir lime leaves
- 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 5 sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro) – leaves and sprigs – chopped
- 3 Tbsp. diced shallots
- 2 Tbsp. lime zest
- 2 fresh Thai red chilis diced (remove the seeds if you don’t want too much heat)
- Toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and white peppercorns in a small pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn.
- Break your dried chilis in half to remove the seeds.
- Using your pestle and mortar (or a food processor), grind the spices, kaffir lime leaves and dried red chilis until the spices are broken down.
- Begin adding all the other ingredients, breaking them down as you go (if using a food processor, just add everything and let the machine do the work).
- Freeze any leftover paste in an ice cube tray for future use.
- My rule is 2 Tbsp. fresh Thai red curry paste for a 4-6 person recipe but adjust depending on your heat tolerance.
- Mix fresh Thai red curry paste and a 15 oz. can of coconut milk for a quick, wonderful curry sauce for vegetables and/or tofu.
- Category: Dressings & Condiments
- Method: Blending
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: Thai red curry paste