Kitchen Tips

How to Make Thai Red Curry Paste in 5 simple Steps

Among the fiercest of the curries in the Thai cuisine is the Red curry. Full of flavours, spices and fresh herbs this spicy red curry is the quintessential base for so many other curries with different variations.

how to make thai red curry paste

Image Courtesy: heymrleej used under Creative Commons Licence

It’s always easy to use store bought curry pastes to make  this delicious curry. So how about we try our hands at making the red curry paste at home? Yes, homemade, fresh and most of all its easy.

Here’s how to make the Thai red curry paste in 5 simple steps:

What you need:

Makes about 1 cup of Thai red curry paste.

1. Prik haeng (whole dried red chiles) – 10-15, deseeded and slit.
2.Coriander and cumin seeds- 2 tsp each
3. Fresh lemongrass stalks – 2, halved
4. Whole black peppercorns- 1 tsp
5. Fresh Galangal – 3 tsp ( about a size of a small lemon), finely chopped
6. Kaffir Lime Leaves – 4 ( adding more might make it bitter
7. Coriander leaves/ cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
8. Garlic – 10-15 pods, minced
9. Purple onion/ shallots- 1/4 cup, chopped
10. Thai red prik kii noo (fresh bird’s eye chillies) – 8 ( You can reduce the number as per your spice palette)
11. Gapi ( Thai shrimp paste)– 1/2 tsp, (Vegetarians can skip this)
12. Fish sauce- 2 tbsp ( Vegetarians can use soy sauce)
13. Sugar- 1 Tsp


1. Soak the whole dried red chillies in warm water for about 20 minutes until soft.

2. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small pan on medium heat until it emits fragrance.

3. In a food processor or a blender finely grind the roasted coriander and cumin, peppercorns  to a coarse powder.

4. Now add  the remaining ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, cilantro, shallots/onions, garlic, bird’s eye chilles, and soaked dried chillies, sugar and grind to a smooth paste using very little water ( only if the mixture turns rough).

5. Finally add the shrimp paste and soy sauce and blend once again until everything is incorporated.

To Store Paste: Place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze and use for up to 4-6 months.

As simple as that. Ain’t it? use this paste to make authentic Thai red curry or perhaps try the following recipes:

Note: Click on the titles to go to the recipes.

1. Salmon in Red Curry – Choo Chee Pla Salmon

Salmon in Red Curry Recipe - Choo Chee Pla Salmon

2. Thai Red Curry Duck

Thai-Red-Curry-Duck - how to make red thai curry paste

3. Barramundi with vegetables in red curry sauce


4. Vegetarian Thai Red Curry


5. Fried Fish with Red Curry Sauce


6. Coconut red curry soup with seafood

Coconut Red Curry Soup with Seafood Recipe - Thai Dish

7. Light red pork curry


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