How to Make Red Curry Paste

Recipe – Red Curry Paste

Gluten Free  |  Dairy Free  |  Nut Free  |  Vegan Option

This fresh Thai Red Curry Paste is delicious, fragrant and versatile.  It can be used in soups, fishcakes, marinades, satay sauce, and curries. 

We love the fresh flavours of Thai and other South East Asian cuisines, and we have treasured memories of the sights, tastes, and friendly locals when we explored Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Japan.

So the food plants I most like to grow are inspired by these experiences.  There’s simply nothing better than popping into our garden to pluck fresh ingredients to use in our kitchen.  Galangal, ginger, turmeric, limes, chillies, coriander, shallots, garlic, and lemongrass are all easy to grow, but often very expensive or difficult to buy fresh.  So, it absolutely makes sense to grow them!

Red Curry Paste


  • 12 dried Red Chillies

  • 2 tablespoons Coriander Seeds

  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Mace

  • 2 teaspoons White Peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoons Shrimp Paste (omit for Vegan option)

  • 1/2 cup Golden Shallots – peeled and diced

  • 10 cloves of Garlic – peeled

  • 2 stalks of Lemongrass – outer layers removed and finely sliced

  • 1 tablespoon Galangal – peeled and chopped finely

  • 2 tablespoons Coriander Root – washed and chopped finely

  • 1 tablespoon Lime Zest – from a fresh Tahitian or Makrut Lime

  • 2 teaspoons Sea Salt


  1. Cut the ends off the dried chillies and shake to remove seeds.  The seeds may be left in if you prefer a hotter curry paste.  Place the chillies in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Soak for at least 1 hour.

  2. Wrap the shrimp paste in foil and roast in the oven at 180oC for 10 minutes until it becomes crumbly.  It won’t smell very pleasant!  Omit for Vegan option.

  3. Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ground mace and white peppercorns in a small dry pan.  Place on heat and roast for a few minutes until aromatic.  Shake or stir the pan frequently to prevent burning.  Allow to cool.

  4. Drain the water from the red chillies and chop finely.

  5. In a large, heavy mortar and pestle, grind the roasted coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ground mace, and white peppercorns to make a fine powder.

  6. Mix all the other ingredients together and then add to the mortar and pestle.  Pound until you have a smooth paste.

  7. Alternatively, the ingredients can be placed in a food processor until a smooth paste is created.

  8. Store this Thai Red Curry Paste in a tightly sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.  Alternatively, freeze in ice cube trays and store for up to 6 months in the freezer.  Individual portions can be removed and thawed as needed.

  9. Enjoy!

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