If authentic Thai is what you’re looking for than you need this Easy Thai Red Curry Paste. With only seven ingredients and one massive amount of POW, this delivers. I’ll show you how easy it is to make at home. Fresh, homemade is always better and the flavor is just out of this world.
Most curry paste ingredients are the same with a few additions or substitutions to alter the flavor. Lemongrass, garlic, shallots shrimp paste and chiles are the usual suspects and then the flavor additions of kaffir lime rind and leaves, ginger, galangal and spices alter the curry pastes. There are red, green and yellow curry pastes to name a few and the one I’m going to show you today is my Easy Thai Red Curry Paste.
If you haven’t seen the book Spice I Am from Sujet Saenkham, please hunt it down. It has the most wonderful Thai recipes. The book is broken down into 9 sections like Soups, Rice & Noodles, Stir Fries, etc. and the Thai Kitchen Essentials is my go to section. Beautiful photos, not too long ingredient lists and gorgeous photos.
After my friend Nagi over at RecipeTin Eats recommended the book to me, store bought curry pastes and dining out for Thai has taken a down turn here. Fresh and homemade is superlative and the meals are easy to put together.
When I popped my head over to take this shot, the aroma from all of these ingredients was just off the hook good. Then, when blended, the kitchen was an exotic potpourri of goodness. Start to finish this can be made in under 15 minutes. Anyone can do that, right?
I could not for the life of me find any whole kaffir limes, and trust me I was on a mission. What I did end up getting were kaffir lime leaves at a local Asian Market here in San Diego (Ranch 99) and I substituted the leaves for the rind in his recipe.
There are Japones chiles, dried Tien Tsin, dried Birds Eye chiles, but the ones I most often use in Asian cooking are the Tien Tsin chiles. Most can be found online, too, if you don’t have the nearby availability. Any small red chile will work honestly.
Shrimp paste is available from most Asian food stores. I’ve seen it occasionally in other mainstream markets in small tubes and containers. Of course there’s always a quick order from Amazon.
I’ll be showing you what to use this authentic Thai red curry paste with in my next post Monday. I figure those who want to make it fresh can, and those who want to buy the store bought version (Thai Kitchen is my favorite) will have it on hand. So please check back!
If you’re not using this right away pour the curry paste into an ice cube tray, freeze and store the curry paste cubes in a labeled ZipLoc plastic bag for easy use next time. Simply remove a few cubes from the freezer to thaw and you have fresh, homemade Thai Red Curry Paste. The best part is you know exactly what went into it.
Easy Thai Red Curry Paste
- 40 small dried red chiles
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 lemongrass stalk
- 2 shallots
- 6 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and chopped into 3 pieces
- 2 tbsp shrimp paste
- 6 leaves kaffir lime
- 3/4 cup water
- Soften the chiles in a bowl with hot water for 3 minutes. Trim the root end and tough outer leaves off the lemongrass stalk. Use only the white part and a little of the green. Cut in half.
- In a food processor add the drained chiles, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, ginger, shrimp paste, kaffir lime leaves and water. Purée until a smooth, thick paste.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days or freeze in cubes and store in a plastic bag for up to 2 months.