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Thai green curry paste recipe

Thai green curry paste recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Curry
  • Curry sauce

I was playing around in the Andy Ricker Pok Pok book, and came up with this simplified green curry paste, with plenty of fresh galangal, turmeric root, kaffir lime, shallot and white peppercorn. Turmeric roots smell incredible!

3 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 225 ml green curry paste

  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh galangal
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and minced turmeric root
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 6 tablespoons minced chilli (select the chilli that suits your desire for spiciness)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • zest of 2 kaffir limes
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste

MethodPrep:15min ›Ready in:15min

  1. In a large mortar, grind white peppercorns to a fine powder. Start adding other ingredients one at a time, grinding each to a fairly smooth paste before adding the next.
  2. Store in the fridge or use immediately in your favourite Thai curry recipe.

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Thai Green Curry Paste

Photo by Grace Parisi

Green curry paste is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, using fresh chiles and lots of aromatic lemongrass, galangal, and shrimp paste. If you don’t want a super spicy curry paste, remove all the seeds from the chiles. Freeze any leftover curry paste in 2-tablespoon lumps – an ice cube tray is perfect!

The recipe I’m sharing with you in this post is Thai green curry paste! This recipe is authentic and very, very good and certainly easy to follow. You can use it to make gaeng keow wan with any type of meat you want.

As for vegetables, I would only recommend eggplant, Thai sweet basil leaves and bamboo shoots because that’s how we do it here. I won’t lie it makes me cringe a bit every time I see carrots or broccoli in gaeng keow wan. However, I get that those vegetables are very easy to find and affordable in many places.

Additionally, you can use green curry paste to make green curry fried rice and green curry spaghetti too. That is to say don’t think you have to be stuck with just green curry. The fried rice and spaghetti are amazing too. I can guarantee that you’re going to love them.

Green Curry Paste Recipe

Even though most people living in Bangkok buy store bought curry pastes, nothing compares to the scent of the curry paste being made. It perfumes the whole kitchen. The arduous process, from sourcing the ingredients to pounding out the paste, is daunting but the reward is grand.

Often store bought green curry paste is too spicy so that I can't put enough paste in without having the curry be too hot. When you make it yourself, you will be able to control the heat in your own curry paste by adjusting the amount of green chili peppers you add.

Green curry paste's ingredients are the same as red curry paste, except for the chilies. The red in red curry paste comes from dried chili peppers, while the green in green curry paste comes from fresh green chili peppers. Green chilies turn from red when ripe.

Don't worry about making too much: you can store excess in your freezer for up to a year.

  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons galangal
  • 3-4 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1/4 cup Chili Leaf Optional
  • 1 tablespoon sliced cilantro roots
  • 1/4 cup garlic
  • 1 Kaffir Lime
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 10-15 Green Thai Chili Peppers

Tips and Techniques

  • In making green curry paste, one important, but difficult-to-find ingredient is kaffir lime zest. Please do not substitute kaffir lime leaves for the zest as you would not substitute lemon leaves for lemon zest in lemon meringue pie. Kaffir lime zest has a distinct scent and flavor and regular western limes are an ineffective substitute.
  • Cilantro roots are often not available substitute stems for roots.
  • The technique to using a mortar and pestle is to pound down at an angle then drag it, grind and twist it up toward yourself. Use the other hand to cup the opening, to both prevent the contents from bouncing out and steady the mortar. Then pound and pound and pound. It will take a lot of grinding to make smooth curry paste.
  • The purpose of the leaves is primarily to add a beautiful bright green color without adding heat. If you try to get the same color without the leaves, you will need many peppers and the paste will be very hot.


Prepping: Toast coriander, peppercorns and cumin in a pan until light brown. You&rsquoll hear the crackling sound when they're ready. Let the spices cool so they will grind easily.

Slice shallots, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro roots into small pieces. I use one lemongrass stalk. Slice thinly or grate the kaffir lime zest, about 1 tablespoon. They will grind into fine paste with smaller fibers.

Notes about using mortar and pestle: Pound the ingredients into the side, almost at the deepest spot, at a 65 degree angle. Do not pound straight down into the center of the mortar things will bounce back at you. Pound and drag out the pestle to separate the fibers.

Grinding curry paste techniques: Ingredients with least amount of water content and/or hard ingredients go in first. Leave the shallots for last.

Grind the spices into powder. Add lemongrass and galangal into the mortar. Grind them into rough fibers. Add salt, garlic, kaffir lime zest, cilantro roots and shrimp paste next. Add fresh green chili peppers and leaves next. Pound until the mixture turn into a fine paste so that you can&rsquot recognize individual ingredients. It took me a good 20 minutes of straight pounding good for your arm. You are excused from going to the gym today!

The role of salt in curry pastes is to help with grinding and to act as a preservative. You may add more salt than what&rsquos called for just remember when you cook with it to taste your curry prior to seasoning.

1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5

Preparation Time: 15 mins    Cooking Time: 0 mins Total Time: 15 mins     Makes 0.50 cup
Show me for cup

  1. Combine all the ingredients along with approx. ¼ cup of water in a mixer and blend till smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator. Alternatively, freeze for upto 3 months.
  3. Use as required.

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[Recipes] 9 Ways To Use Thai Green/Red Curry Paste

Over the years, I have found myself relying pretty heavily on store bought Thai curry paste in my everyday cooking. So which one do I prefer more? Red or green curry paste?

I usually bought the green one but I do use the both of them interchangeably. In my mind, the only distinction is the red or green chillies in the curry paste and therefore it does not really matter which one you use.

The following is a collection of recipes which I have shared on my blog incorporating Thai curry paste. I hope that this post will inspire you to be creative with the uses of Thai curry paste.

Chicken and Vegetable Satay Noodles – Mix the red curry paste with peanut butter and you’ve got yourself a cheat satay sauce!

Satay Turkey Burgers – If you like the “cheat satay” idea, I have a feeling you will also enjoy this family friendly and healthy burger recipe.

3 Ingredients Pumpkin Soup – I love using Thai curry paste in soups because it is a quick way to add flavour minus the work. Case in point the soup which only requires only three ingredients and you don’t need any stock for this recipe! Pumpkin soup can’t get easier than this one!

Thai Style Pea & Apply Soup – In the absence of ham and bacon, it is still possible to make green pea soup exciting! The tartness from the green apple and the natural sweetness from green peas work harmoniously with the Thai curry paste. Topped with crunchy noodles for texture, this makes a wonderful winter warmer.

Thai Style Chicken, Broad Beans, Cashew & Basil Stir Fry – my take on my favourite Thai restaurant takeaway dish by adding frozen broad beans (to create a balanced meal) and a final touch of Sriracha drizzles to tantalise your tastebuds.

Grilled Thai Red Curry Steak & Noodles Stir Fry – The curry paste can also be used as a marinate for steak, as well as the flavour base for the noodle stir fry.

Asian Beef & Noodle Soup with 5-Ingredients Beef Broth – Speaking of noodles, have you tried adding Thai curry paste as the flavour base for broth? If you are craving for pho, this noodle soup can be a speedy fix for you.

Easy Thai Fried Rice – Growing up in Malaysia, I am used to having fried rice with strong flavours. My favourite is sambal fried rice and Yang Zhou fried rice infused with the “breath of wok“. As the “breath of wok” is hard to achieve in home cooking and I don’t usually stock sambal at home, the next best thing to give my leftover rice some amazing “makeover” is the tasty addition of curry paste!

Thai Green Curry with Sugar Snaps, Asparagus & Broccolini – Lightly “braised” these crunchy greens in the Thai curry paste flavoured coconut broth. There’s no room for bland vegetable dish here!

Is Thai curry paste a staple in your cooking too? Tell me in the comment box below what’s your favourite way of using it.

3. Cook your green curry

Now that you’ve got all your ingredients ready, comes the easy part of making this Thai green curry recipe: cooking it.

Thai curries are often very easy to cook, because much of the intensive work is already done when making the paste.

For this recipe, my mother in law first added about 2 cups of water to a pot and added in all the curry paste and the chicken pieces.

Toss in the kaffir lime leaves

She mentioned to me that she really wanted to boil the chicken for a few minutes to ensure the chicken was nice and tender before adding the coconut milk.

At this stage you want to also tear up a handful of kaffir lime leaves and add them to the curry just to give it a nice fragrance as you boil.

Boil the chicken in the green curry paste water for about 10 – 15 minutes or so, or until you think the chicken is tender.

Thai eggplant

While the chicken boils, you can prepare the final ingredients.

For the Thai eggplant, cut them in quarters, so they are bite sized. For the red spur chilies, slice them into thin strips.

Slice the spur chilies into thin strips

Finally, for the Thai sweet basil, you can just take a good handful of the leaves off the stem. Set everything aside for later on in the cooking process.

Boil the chicken until it’s soft and most of the water has evaporated

At this point most of the water should have boiled out. And if not, you might want to keep on boiling at a high heat for a few more minutes. You want most of the water to have evaporated so you’re left with mostly the tender boiled chicken, and all that condensed green curry paste.

We’ll be using only coconut cream for this recipe

My mother in law was pretty insistent on telling me that for her Thai green curry recipe, she was only going to use thick rich coconut cream rather than coconut milk, which in Thai is called hua kati (หัวกะทิ).

She mentioned that using just regular coconut milk would cause the oil to separate from the coconut milk, which wouldn’t be good for green curry.

In Thailand it’s very convenient to go to the local market and buy fresh coconut cream. But if you can’t get fresh coconut cream, I think the best option is Aroy-D coconut cream in a box, instead of the one in the can.

Add a good 2 full cups of coconut cream to your curry to start with. Then stir gently for a few minutes.

Once the curry comes to a boil, add in the eggplant and spur chilis

Once the coconut milk begins to slow boil, you can toss in the eggplant and the sliced red spur chilies (mostly for decoration so there’s some red in the green) and boil for just 2 – 3 minutes.

Just before you turn off the heat, toss in a big handful of fresh Thai sweet basil.

Again, since the pounding already brought out the flavor of the spices and herbs, all you have to do is cook your green curry for about 5 minutes from the time it boils, and you’re ready to eat.

One thing I’d like to also point out again is that some Thai green curry recipes call for sugar. While you can add white sugar or palm sugar to your green curry, for me, I like to rely on the natural sweetness of the coconut cream for the sweetness. But if you like sweeter curry, feel free to add some palm sugar for seasoning.

Additionally, when my mother in law and I made this pot of green curry, we added only about 1/2 tsp. salt because there was also salt and shrimp paste in the green curry paste. But you need to taste test your green curry, and adjust the salt as necessary. Also, my mother in law said for Thai green curry it’s best to use salt instead of fish sauce for saltiness.

What is Green Curry Paste?

Green curry paste is traditionally made by using a mortar and pestle to grind together green chilis (or Bird&rsquos Eye chilis), garlic, ginger (or galangal), lemongrass, kaffir limes, and cilantro. Often, cumin and some type of ground peppercorn is added too.

The paste is then used in a coconut milk based soup or stew along with other vegetables, chicken, or shrimp.

It&rsquos typically quite a bit spicier than other Thai curries. Green curry is normally hot to medium-hot, red is medium, and yellow is mild to medium.

Tips to make Green Curry recipe:

1. You can ground the paste coarsely or smoothly as per your preference.

2. The fresh ingredients always give you the best flavor and taste.

3. Traditionally the paste is grounded in mortar and pestle. If you intend to ground in mortar and pestle. Chop all the ingredients that help in easy pounding.

4. The spice level is truly your preference, you can increase the heat by adding Thai chilies.

How long will Thai green curry paste last?

Store the Thai green curry paste in an airtight container and refrigerate for a week. The green curry paste stays well and good.

Can I Freeze Thai green curry paste?

Transfer the Thai green curry paste in an ice cube tray and freeze the tray till it hardened and then store in a freezer-safe bag for 2 months.

Is Thai green curry vegan?

Yes, This Thai green curry paste is vegan.

Where do I get galangal, lemongrass, kaffir leaves?

Galangal, lemongrass, kaffir leaves are predominantly used in Thai cuisine. It is available in the Asian section in your grocery store.

What can make with Thai green curry paste?

The Authentic Thai green curry recipe can be made, and the green curry paste is widely used for soup, stew, curries, Noodles, salad dressings.


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