Thai green curry paste is made from a combination of green chilis and a whole lot of spices. It’s more fragrant than yellow curry paste and milder than red. Use it in Thai-inspired recipes like stir fry and (of course) curry!
What do all good curries start with? Quality curry paste of course! There are 3 different types of Thai curry paste out there: red, yellow, and green. I’ve already shared my recipes for the first 2 (click on the links to learn more), and now it’s time to round out my curry paste collection with Thai green curry paste recipe.
This green curry paste recipe is made with green chilis, Bird’s Eye chilis, lemongrass, kaffir lime rinds, and a handful of other spices and seasonings. Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you — you should be able to find them at your local Asian specialty foods store or you can purchase them online!
WAYS TO USE GREEN CURRY PASTE
You can use this green condiment in curry recipes, or you can use it on vegetables, and eggs, as a base for soups and stews, or even in salad dressings. It’s a pop of flavor and color that will make a world of difference in whatever you add it to!
Here are some of my favorite recipes that you can add green curry paste recipe to:
- Thai lemongrass chicken in coconut milk
- Create a dressing for Thai mango salad
- Gai yang chicken (Thai BBQ) marinade
- Add a bit to the peanut sauce on this sweet and spicy pizza
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Green Chilis - You can use Serrano or green cayenne chilis here, whichever you can find — and prefer.
- Bird’s Eye Chili - Peppery and fruity at the same time, Bird’s Eye chilis are spicy and intense.
- Lemongrass Stick - Contrary to popular belief, lemongrass doesn’t necessarily taste exactly like lemons. It’s citrusy, but also boasts a menthol flavor. The combination is lovely!
- Shallot - Shallots are a bit milder than onions and have an almost sweet flavor to them.
- Garlic - One of the basic ingredients found in all types of curry pastes. You’ll need it for your green version too!
- Kaffir Lime Rinds - This type of lime is native to Asia and have a slightly different flavor than more commonly found varieties. They have barely any juice, which is why you need to use the rind. If you can't find, then use lime zest.
- Galangal - Often compared to ginger, this root tastes like citrus and pine.
- Turmeric Root - Earthy, bitter, and a bit peppery, this ingredient brings a lot to this green curry paste recipe.
- Shrimp Paste - As you may have guessed, shrimp paste tastes like shrimp. It’s also quite salty, which is why you don’t need any added salt in this recipe.
- Water - You’ll need water to hold all of the ingredients together to create a paste!
HOW TO MAKE THAI CURRY PASTE
- Prepare The Chilis, Lemongrass, Shallot, & Garlic. Trim the stems from the tops of the chilis and chop them coarsely. Then, trim the green tops of the lemongrass. You’ll only use the thick white part of the stick. Chop it into 1-inch pieces. Peel the garlic and shallot and coarsely chop the shallot.
- Peel The Galangal & Turmeric Root. Using a spoon, scrape the skin off of the galangal and turmeric root and cut it into 1-inch pieces.
- Blend The Ingredients. Place the chilis, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, galangal, turmeric, lime rinds, and shrimp paste in a food processor and pulse several times to break down the ingredients. Scrape the sides, then add the water. Pulse until the paste forms and everything is combined. It should take 2 minutes. If you find that the mixture is too watery, you can drain it with a sieve to remove any excess liquid.
- Storage. Store your creation in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it! I often times freeze in ice cube trays and keep them in a Ziploc in the freezer for easy use later.
Is Green Curry Paste The Same As Other Thai Curry Paste?
As I mentioned briefly, all Thai curry pastes feature ingredients like garlic, ginger, chilis, and a type of fish sauce. Green varieties are different as they contain green chilis and green herbs like lemongrass, which give it its distinct green color.
Which Is Hotter Red Thai Curry Paste Or Green?
Red curry paste is hotter than green varieties, thanks to the large amount of spicy red chilis. The red chilis used in red curry paste are typically hotter.
Why Is My Thai Curry Paste Watery?
Remember, if you’re unhappy with the consistency of your Thai condiment, you can always drain it with a compact sieve to remove any excess moisture. Add the water in carefully, one tablespoon at a time to avoid an overly watery paste. It’s an easy mistake to fix, but it’s better if you add the water slowly!
Thai Green Curry Paste
- 3 ounces Serrano of Green Cayenne chili
- 1 ½ ounces Birds Eye Chili
- 1 lemongrass stick
- 1 shallot
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 kaffir limes rind only
- 1 ounce galangal
- ½ ounce turmeric root 2-inch piece
- 3 tablespoons shrimp paste
- ⅓ cup water
- Trim stems from chilis and coarsely chop.
- Trim dried green tops from lemongrass and use thicker white part to the root end. Chop into 1 inch pieces.
- Peel shallot and garlic. Coarsely chop shallot.
- Use a spoon and scrape skin from galangal and turmeric root. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Transfer all ingredients except water into food processor. Pulse several times to break everything down. Scrape sides and add water. Blitz until a paste forms and everything has been processed (about 2 minutes). Add more water if needed (See Note 1).
- Store in airtight container and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze for later use.
- If it's too loose/watery at end, transfer paste to sieve and drain, pressing to extract excess liquid.
- Adapted from Sujet Saenkham's, Spice I Am.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.