A fragrant, fresh curry paste made with fresh herbs and some spices, Thai Green Curry Paste is easy to make and you get to control the hotness!
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My motivation for making this curry paste is the Green Thai Curry we get from our local Thai restaurant. It’s perfect, spicy but not hot, sweet but not too sweet. We tried the canned curry pastes you can buy at the store but they were all too hot for us. The big bonus of making your own is YOU get to decide how many chiles you want in your food. One or one hundred, up to you!
Cooking for my husband and daughter is tricky, they both like different levels of hotness. If this happens in your house, make the milder version and serve on the side chili oil or chili sauce, everybody will be happy!
What is Thai curry?
Thai curry is a dish made with a fresh curry paste made of mostly fresh herbs and a few spices. It differs from Indian curry that way which usually uses a dry spice blend.
Thai green curry paste usually has kefir lime leaves, garlic, ginger or galangal, lemon grass, cilantro root, chiles and shrimp paste. I couldn’t find shrimp paste so I substituted miso but you could also substitute doenjang, the Korean version of fermented soy bean paste. Shrimp paste, miso and doenjang all have that characteristic umami taste and that is why they are somewhat interchangeable so feel free to substitute.
I also couldn’t find galangal or cilantro root so I used ginger and cilantro. The curry paste turned out fantastic and just what we were looking for so no excuses on your part if you can’t find the ‘authentic’ ingredients.
All of the green curry paste recipes I came across called for mild peppers and hot peppers. Mild peppers form a good green base and the hot peppers provide the peppery heat. I used Korean mild green peppers, they look like banana peppers, maybe they are and re-labeled, who knows? For the hot peppers, I used frozen serrano peppers I keep in my freezer. A nice trick I learned from the market girl at my local Asian store. If your mild peppers are somewhat hot, keep that in mind when you choose how many hot peppers to add. Every taste is different, we used only 3 hot peppers but we could have gone up as much as 6 because our mild pepper was actually pretty sweet.
Thai curry paste keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and can be frozen for much longer. Make a double batch and make life easier on yourself.
Let me know how yours turn out and even better, let me know what you made with it. I’m going to make a chicken and pineapple curry over rice, YUM!!
- 2 Korean mild chiles, chopped, may sub any mild green chiles (about 1 cup)
- 1 Tbs ginger, minced
- 5 kefir lime leaves, may sub zest from 1 lime
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
- 6 thai basil leaves
- 1 Tbs shrimp paste (kapi), may sub miso paste, doenjang paste (Korean fermented bean paste)
- 1.5 Tbs cumin seeds, toasted in a skillet, may sub 1 Tbs cumin powder
- 1.5 Tbs coriander seeds, toasted in a skillet, may sub 1 Tbs ground coriander
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 black peppercorns
- 2 lemon grass stalks chopped, bottom 1/3, peeled and tough stem cut off
- 3-10 small hot chiles, stem removed, seeded, chopped (thai chili, serrano, even jalapeño)
- Place first 14 ingredients in a blender and mix until blended into a fine paste. May add water to get the mixture going. You will need to periodically scrape down the sides. Alternatively, you may use a mortar and pestle, grinding one ingredient at a time.
- This makes approximately 1 cup of curry paste, may keep in refrigerator in a jar with a tight lid for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer in a freezer bag for up to 6 months.