Thai curry pastes:

They are one of the most ESSENTIAL components, or foundations of Thai cuisine; Pastes form the base of many dishes, from soups, to curries, to stir fries.

In Thailand you’ll find curry pastes available at all markets, fresh, but produced in mass quantities.

They are normally piled high in rounded cone shapes, and you can buy by them by the 100 grams.

In other countries you can normally buy Thai curry pastes in cans or tubs, Mae Ploy is one of the most famous brands.

BUT… after I made this fresh curry paste, I have to tell you, NOTHING compares to the flavor of Thai curry paste when you make it yourself from fresh ingredients.

Believe me, you’ll taste the difference.

Thai red curry paste recipe
Here are some of the ingredients we’ll use

There are many different types of Thai curry paste blends, but in this recipe, we’ll be making Thai red curry paste (พริกแกงเผ็ด in Thai it’s called prik gaeng ped).

I think the best and most rewarding way to make this Thai paste recipe, is by pounding all the ingredients by hand using a mortar and pestle, known as a krok in Thai.

This slow method ensures all the oils from the chilies and garlic are fully released, but it does definitely take a lot of work.

But alternatively, you could pulse everything in a food processor or blender if you need to.

What ingredients are in Thai red curry paste?

As long as you have all the ingredients handy, it’s not all that complicated to make Thai red curry paste. The biggest challenge is pounding them all into a buttery paste (if you do it by hand).

The base of Thai red curry paste is dry red spur chillies (prik haeng met yai พริกแห้งเม็ดใหญ่ – which is dried prik chee fa), which are not very spicy, but are extremely fragrant.

I used 8 big dry spur chilies for this recipe.

Thai shrimp paste
Shrimp paste (กะปิ)

The other ingredients included in this recipe:

  • 8 dry red spur chiles (พริกแห้งเม็ดใหญ่)
  • 3 teaspoons white pepper corns (พริกไทยขาว)
  • 1/2 teaspoon jeera powder (also known as cumin powder  ยี่หร่า)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder (ลูกผักชี)
  • 10 – 15 cloves garlic (กระเทียม)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander roots (รากผักชี)
  • 1 tablespoon sliced lemongrass ( ตะไคร้)
  • shallots (หอมแดง)
  • 1 tablespoon sliced galangal (ข่า)
  • 1/2 the peel of 1 kaffir lime (ผิวมะกรูด)
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (กะปิ)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (เกลือ)

It’s a powerhouse of healthy herbs and spices. With all this flavor, you could definitely make some healthy or even vegetarian Thai dishes.

white pepper corns
Prik Thai khao (พริกไทยขาว) – white pepper

Prik Thai khao (พริกไทยขาว), or white peppercorns, are one of the main ingredients in this Thai red curry paste. Compared to black pepper, it has a mild and almost sweeter flavor.

Using the whole peppercorns will ensure you preserve the best flavor of the pepper, but if you can only get the ground powdered version, it should still work fine.

Thai kaffir lime
Kaffir limes

Kaffir limes are some of the most beautiful things in the world to me.

I love their wrinkly skin, and as soon as you slice off some of the peel, an immediate and incredible citrus fragrance will overwhelm you.

When you slice off the peel, cut it very shallow, you want to try to slice off as little of the white pith as possible, and only get the good green skin.

Pound the dry spices first
Pound the dry spices first

Dry spices first

For the first part of this Thai red curry paste recipe (พริกแกงเผ็ด), it’s best to keep your dry and wet ingredients separate at first.

The first thing I did was pound 3 teaspoons of white peppercorns until they turned to powder (about 5 minutes) and then added 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder and 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder.

Once the dry spices are ready, empty them out of the mortar and set them aside in a small bowl (now, we won’t use them until the end).

พริกแห้งเม็ดใหญ่
Dry red spur chillies (พริกแห้งเม็ดใหญ่) with salt – helps to pound

Next start pounding everything

For the dry red spur chillies (prik haeng met yai พริกแห้งเม็ดใหญ่), you want to first soak them in water for 10 – 15 minutes to soften them up, and then drain them.

I used 8 big chilies, and cut them into 1 centimeter pieces, and added them to the mortar along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

It’s best to first pound the chilies and salt until quite fine and the oils are fully released from the chilies (about 5 – 10 minutes).

Once your chilies are looking and smelling good, you can then go ahead and chop up all the rest of your ingredients, the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, coriander roots, galangal, and kaffir lime peel, and start pounding away.

Keep on pounding…

Thai red curry paste
Keep pounding…

You’re going to sweat…

Pounding the paste by hand will take some time, patience, and elbow grease, but the end result is so worth it.

It took me about 15 – 20 minutes until all the ingredients were fully pounded into a paste.

You’re looking for a buttery oily consistency with no chunks. It should almost look like a tomato sauce.

When you’ve got a nice paste, then you can add in 1/2 teaspoon of shrimp paste, which is going to add some saltiness to your Thai red curry paste (พริกแกงเผ็ด).

The final step is to go back to your dry spices and mix in your bowl of white pepper which is already mixed with cumin and coriander powder.

Your red curry paste will turn a little less deep red and more of an orangey red in color due the white colored pepper and spices.

Make sure everything is pounded out and mixed all the way through.

พริกแกงเผ็ด
Thai red curry paste (prik gaeng ped พริกแกงเผ็ด)

But, before you get started cooking, make sure you watch the video recipe first:

(If you can’t see the video, watch it here: http://youtu.be/8o6KqwnSpWE)

Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe (พริกแกงเผ็ด Prik Gaeng Ped)

Time: About 45 minutes (unless you use a blender or food processor, then 10 minutes)
Recipe size: This recipe will make about 8 – 10 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste
Cooking utensils: mortar and pestle – a big stone one works the best

Flavors: Spicy, salty, fragrant (not meant to be eaten straight, but as the base of other dishes)
Eat it with: Use in a variety of Thai curries and stir fry dishes.

Be sure to check more of my authentic Thai street food recipes by clicking here.

WARNING: Pounding chilies with your hand can make your hand burn (like it’s on fire!). If you have gloves, it’s a good idea to wear them making this recipe (even though I didn’t), or pounding any curry paste by hand.

4.9 from 7 reviews
Authentic Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe (พริกแกงเผ็ด Prik Gaeng Ped)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Pastes are one of the foundational component of Thai cuisine, used as the base for many Thai soups, curries, and stir fry dishes. This is a recipe for an authentic version of Thai red curry paste (พริกแกงเผ็ด prik gaeng ped) which can be used to cook a number of different dishes. I like to prepare my curry paste using a Thai mortar and pestle, but alternatively you could use a food processor or a blender to speed up the process. Take the time to make your own Thai curry paste, and you'll be impressed by the fresh fragrant flavors. Watch the video here, and read the full recipe here.
Author:
Recipe type: Thai curry paste
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: About 8 - 10 tablespoons of paste
Ingredients
  • 3 teaspoons white pepper corns
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 8 dry red spur chilies (soaked in water for about 10 minutes to soften them)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 10 - 14 small cloves of garlic
  • 5 small shallots (Thai shallots are the size of grapes, so it’s about 2 tablespoons worth)
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced coriander roots
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced galangal
  • Skin of ½ kaffir lime
  • ½ teaspoon of shrimp paste
Instructions
The best (and most strenuous) way to make Thai curry pastes is using a mortar and pestle (known in Thai as a krok). However, if you don’t have one, or if you want to save time and elbow grease, you can use a blender or food processor to make this red curry paste recipe.
  1. First we’re going to pound the dry ingredients. Add 3 teaspoons of white pepper corns to your mortar and pound it until it’s a fine powder.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon of cumin and ½ teaspoon of coriander to the pepper and mix it all thoroughly, and then set them aside in a small bowl.
Note: If you only have pre-ground white pepper, you can eliminate the first step and just mix these 3 spices together in a small bowl.
  1. Take 8 dry spur chilies (prik chee fa haeng), soak them in water for a few minutes to rehydrate them, then drain the chilies. Cut off their stems, and you can then chop them into small centimeter pieces. Some people take out the seeds to make their red curry paste less spicy, but in my opinion you’ve got to keep the seeds.
  2. Add the chopped dry chilies to the mortar along with ½ teaspoon of salt and start pounding. Keep on pounding for about 5 - 10 minutes until most of the chilies are nice and broken, the oils are coming out, and it’s starting to looks almost tomatoey.
  3. Step back over to your chopping board and peel about 10 - 14 cloves of garlic. I used a type of Thai garlic, which is small and extra pungent variety, but using regular garlic will work fine too. If the cloves are really big, use about 8.
  4. Next peel 5 small shallots (Thai shallots are really small, about the size of a grape), so if you have big shallots you might need just 2 or 3. Chop them into small pieces.
  5. Take 1 stalk of lemongrass, pull off and discard the outermost leaf, and then slice it from the bottom into small slivers. You want enough for 1 tablespoon.
  6. Take the fresh coriander roots from about 3 stalks, cut off the roots, slice them into small pieces, and again you want about 1 tablespoon worth of coriander roots.
  7. Take your galangal, and if you can find baby galangal that's not too old, it will be softer, but whatever you have is alright. Again, slice it into pieces and you want enough for 1 tablespoon worth.
  8. Next take a fresh kaffir lime and slice off only the green skin. You want to slice off the skin very delicately, making sure you get mostly green, not cutting off any of the white pith. I used the skin from about ½ of the kaffir lime.
  9. Toss all of those ingredients into the already pounded chilies.
  10. Pound and pound and pound until you’ve got a buttery, oily, and extremely fragrant Thai red curry paste. This should take anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes, and yes it’s tough work, but it’s so worth it (again, you can alternatively use a blender or food processor).
  11. When your paste is buttery and smooth, go back to your bowl of white pepper and dry spices, and mix it into the paste. You don’t need to pound hard now, just mix it all in and smooth it out.
  12. Final step is to add in just ½ teaspoon of shrimp paste. Pound your paste altogether and make sure the shrimp paste is fully mixed in.
Notes
It takes some work, but the end result of this fresh Thai red curry paste will not disappoint your taste buds.

Once you taste the flavors of a curry paste you made yourself, you won't go back to using it from a can - it's such a fresh and amazing blend of flavors. Watch the video here.

You could go out and buy Thai red curry paste (prik gaeng ped พริกแกงเผ็ด) from the store, but I’m here to tell you, the flavor is 10 times better when you make it fresh (ok maybe not 10 times, but anyway, it’s way better and fresher).

If you’re serious about making Thai food, getting a good handle on Thai curry pastes is a must.

With Thai red curry paste here are some dishes you can make:

Thank you very much for reading (and watching) this recipe. Please leave a comment to let me know how it turns out, I’d love to hear from you!



109 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Delis

    5 days ago

    Mark today i made thai curry paste and I use it to fry shrimp… My God it was sooooo tasty. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 days ago

      Fantastic to hear that Delis, glad it turned out so well!

  • Rebecca

    3 months ago

    This looks like a great recipe for the paste! Can’t wait to try it! Was just wondering how long can this paste be kept? Thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 months ago

      Thank you very much Rebecca. Since there are no preservatives it’s best to eat in a couple of days, but in the fridge I think it would probably last about a week.

      • Robin

        1 month ago

        I made up a triple batch and froze the paste in tablespoon sized lumps – so perfect to toss in the pot whenever I need it!

  • Clare

    3 months ago

    Cannot wait to make this paste! I have managed to get a decent blending and grinding machine made by Preethi. I am in Singapore so ingredients easy to come by. Thank you for a beautifully presented and thoroughly comprehensive article.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 months ago

      Hey Clare, great to hear from you, and glad you’re going to make this curry paste. Enjoy, and especially the dishes you can make from it!

  • Aisyah

    3 months ago

    Hi, thanks for sharing the recipe. I would love to try this paste coz I’m gonna make gai pad prik gaeng but I can’t find coriander root around me, is it a must ingredient for Thai red curry paste?

    • Mark Wiens

      3 months ago

      Hi Aisyah, you’re very welcome, glad it’s helpful. It’s a flavorful ingredients, but if you can’t find any, it would be fine to omit it, or you can add a little bit of coriander powder.

    • suzi

      2 months ago

      Esah… hukalohhh.. corriander roots tuh akar pokok ketumbar lerr. Ngko potong batang ketumbar …yg tinggal akarnye. Akar tuh ler depa tumbuk skali. Xkannnler pokok ketumbwr takde kat pasar tpt ko

      • Aisyah

        3 days ago

        Iya akar ketumbar tapi takde jual kat tempat aku. Ade jual biji ketumbar saje

  • wayne

    4 months ago

    i will make thai red curry it looks good

  • Zee

    4 months ago

    I tried making this paste. And I tried to cook Gai Pad Prok Gaeng using this paste. It was simply delicious! Gonna cook more of this next week.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 months ago

      Hi Zee, that’s awesome it turned out so well. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Zee

    4 months ago

    I have tried making this recipe this week. I cooked chicken using this paste and it turned out to be soooo delicious. My kids love it. I am definitely going to repeat this paste recipe.
    Thanks Mark & Ying.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 months ago

      Hey Zee, that’s great news, glad you and your family enjoyed it!

  • yev

    5 months ago

    I am trying to make Massaman paste, but I can’t find red spur chilies anywhere around me (I’m in Bay Area, California, USA) or online. Does anyone know where I can buy them, or a pepper that is comparable?

  • James

    5 months ago

    If I’m making a curry with my curry past how much of the past do I need to use

  • Kevin

    7 months ago

    Well worth the effort as i love authentic Thai😊

  • Matt F

    8 months ago

    Mark,

    Thanks for your recipe. It is great. My only comment is about the type of thai chili pepper to use. The peppers I have found at the Asian market near me make a VERY hot paste. They are much smaller than the spur peppers you describe. I would prefer the ‘fragrant’ peppers you describe. Is there another name the spur peppers go by?

    Thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Matt, great to hear from you, thank you very much. I’m not totally sure, but have you tried some of the Mexican dried chilies? I think that might be your best bet. When I’m in the States soon I’ll try to do some research. Thanks and enjoy!

      • Janice

        7 months ago

        Hi Mark! Can’t wait to try this! Would fresno peppers be ok as substitute for red spur chili?

  • Clarissa

    8 months ago

    Hi! I really would love to make your recipe but do you know any vegan substitutes for the shrimp paste?

  • Tutu Saadullah

    9 months ago

    Loved your site Mark, very comprehensive. Attended a Thai Cooking class arranged by my hotel Bel Aire in Sukhumbit road Soi 5, in their premises, it was a ripoff 700 bht for each customised recipe.

  • John Mendyk

    10 months ago

    Hi Mark,
    You’re enthusiasm makes me want to pound away at the red curry paste even more and can’t wait until I get the ingredients later on today. Chicken red curry for dinner tonight!
    Will be making the curry without the salt and the shrimp paste as my wife is salt intolerant and can only have very small quantities (120milligrams/100 gms of the meal). Can you suggest anything to substitute for the salt and or any great Thai recipes that don’t have salt. Mark unfortunately crustaceans are a no no with the salt content being too high as well (fish is ok though)
    Appreciate any suggestions.
    Cheers,
    John (Sydney, Australia)

    • Mark Wiens

      10 months ago

      Hey John, thank you very much for your support, glad you enjoy cooking Thai food as well! Hmmm, I’ll try to think of any substitutes for salt, but I guess you could just mostly balance out the sour, spicy, and sweet. Fresh coconut milk also is very good without any salt. Enjoy the cooking and eating!

  • Aodh Mor MacRaynall

    10 months ago

    Mark, I just found your recipe a couple of days ago and decided to try making some paste since I’m looking for ways to add flavor to food without so much salt. I’ve got a food processor but I bought a mortar and pestle to use because well, that’s just the way we are. Actually, I think texture is a major part of food appeal and you may or may not get the same flavor with a food processor but you will not get the same texture. Besides, I’ve been wanting a mortar and pestle for a while and it seemed like a good time to buy one. Boy, it is tough work pounding this stuff but I think it’s worth it. Besides, a mortar and pestle is just like any other tool. The more you use it, the easier it becomes to use (you learn how to make it operate in the most efficient way). The only change in your recipe I made was no galangal root. I could get it but I forgot to buy it and didn’t want to go back to the store. I substituted a piece of ginger root and it was pretty good. We’re letting it sit now so the flavors can mingle and are planning to use it for shrimp soup tonight. Thanks for giving us the video.

    • Mark Wiens

      10 months ago

      Hi Aodh, thank you very much for the comment, and glad you were able to make some red curry paste. I fully agree with all your thoughts about the mortar and pestle, even though it takes more work, the flavors blend together and the oils get fully released when you grind them by hand. And I think it’s pretty fun too, because you can feel the fruits of your effort. Enjoy the soup!

  • Srima

    11 months ago

    I love it

  • mike Ridge

    11 months ago

    hi.
    love your vid on the red curry paste. I just got back from thailand 3 visits in 10 months. living on the isle of wight is a problem to get the authentic ingredients. but i did bring back 4 different pastes , dried shrimp,squid,and crispy sweet chilli fish topped with sesame . once i run out i intend to make my own pastes. I will let you know i get on.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 months ago

      Hey Mike, thank you for sharing, awesome to hear you have so curry pastes to start cooking. Enjoy!

  • Beth

    12 months ago

    Just made the paste but it didn’t turn out as red and the total portion is not quite 8-10 tablespoons like you mentioned. Can you guess why that is?

    • Mark Wiens

      12 months ago

      Hey Beth, thanks for sharing. Not totally sure, but were you able to get the same chilies? Could be the chilies, even just a different stock of them, or maybe the amount and size of garlic?

  • gayatri

    12 months ago

    Lovely recipe,shall try it tomorrow.

  • Steven Richards

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark, I am going to make this recipe and can’t wait. Looks great and will be using for Thai red beef curry for a dinner party at the weekend.
    Only problem is I can’t find the chilies you recommend anywhere nor on the Internet. Can you help ?
    Thanks

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Steven, would you have access to a Mexican supermarket? I think it might work to substitute some dry guajillo chilies instead of spur chilies. Hope this helps and enjoy the food!

  • alicia

    1 year ago

    Love your site!

    • Heide

      1 year ago

      I tried this recipe as I had a hankering for some good Thai broth for shrimp and noodles. I used citrus leaves instead of the kaffir lime zest (I grow seeds from regular oranges and use the leaves for cooking). I used regular ginger, black peppercorns, a little fennel seed to add a slight sweetness. I am sorry but I used a blender simply because I don’t have a good mortar and pestle. I ground the whole spices in a coffee grinder and then threw everything in the blender. I had to add a little olive oil and a few tablespoons of water to make it moist enough for the blender to puree it smoothly. My peppers were not quite so vibrant so I added a little turmeric and paprika for the color. This made eight ounces of a beautifully fragrant paste. Thanks for the recipe!

      • Mark Wiens

        1 year ago

        Hey Heide, thank you very much for sharing, sounds great!

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Thank you Alicia

  • Jinna van Ringen

    1 year ago

    This is the best curry I have ever had! I made it over 6 months ago and I just ran out and I lost the recipe. Fortunately I found it again (saving it to my favorites right away). I freeze the curry in ice cube containers because the recipe yielded so much curry paste. Just take out 1 ice cube and toss it in the pan!

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Jinnna, great to hear that, glad you enjoy it. Nice tip about freezing it as well!

  • Linc

    1 year ago

    Thanks dude, that looks delicious. I’ll be using it to make chiang-mai sausage because I thought using a fresh paste would create a better tasting meat product. Thank you!

  • Jacqi

    1 year ago

    I’m drooling. Headed to MT Supermarket in Austin, TX tomorrow. All I want to do is create delicious Thai food in my kitchen all day to feed my pregnant belly. Mmmm. Excellent website.

  • Nunzia

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark, thank you for your generosity! I am an Australian who lived in Hong Kong for 12 years and recently returned home. Without a doubt my heart and soul is in Asia and especially with Thai food, however, I have always lacked the confidence to try dishes myself. Yesterday, I stumbled across your work in “The Lonely Planet, Thailand from the Source” book and made my first recipe which was a hit. I was completely satisfied and ‘at home.’ Your work is straight forward and transparent. Gorgeous book. I have read many Thai cooking books and recipes over the years but never taken the plunge, until now. With gratitude for your hard work and commitment, we wish you much success for the future. I’m looking forward to making my way through this blog. Many thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Nunzia, great to hear from you, and thank you very much for the kind words of encouragement. Glad we both share a passion for food in Asia, and I’m so happy to hear you’re cooking more and trying out new recipes / dishes. Thank you very much for your support, hope you’re having a great day!

  • helene carnet

    1 year ago

    thank you for your all recipes-j ai bien recu vos recettes,les vido aident bien et j ai l impressin d etre en thailandequand je les lis avant de les faire.j ai pris des cours a chang mai mais il me manquais beacoup de recettes

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Helene, you’re welcome, thank you for reading and glad you enjoy cooking Thai food.

  • Thomas DSa

    1 year ago

    The Red thai curry paste looks yummy. I will try it out it as curry sauce for fish, I will let you know how it works out.

  • Nina

    1 year ago

    Really loved all the flavors in this recipe. We cut the recipe in half because we didn’t think we would use it all in a week. We are vegan and we subbed a 1/2 t. miso and 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar for the shrimp paste. I soaked the chilis, shallots, garlic in the 1 tbsp. vinegar and then used that vinegar that has been infused with the flavors. We figured the vinegar might make it last longer in the fridge. We took out the seeds of the dried chilis first because we can’t handle lots of heat. We keep the seeds and use the red chili pepper flakes for other recipes. We left off the peppercorns because the ones in the US have a very strong flavor. Thanks again!!

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Wow, so cool to hear that Nina, glad it turned out so well and thank you for sharing your modifications. Sounds delicious!

      • Andras

        1 year ago

        Hi Mark, I just made a “small” batch of this chili paste. To be correct, it turned out slightly more, than 4 pounds.
        I grow my own chili and I just harvested 2.5 lbs of Georgia’s Flame, which I used for the same purpose last year. I did not have shrimp paste, so I used some fish sauce instead. I used much less white pepper, because I prefer the chili taste instead of pepper. Other than that I made a similar version, than you. (No surprize, I checked this recipe first :)
        Thanks for the recipe, it taste like the real stuff!
        Tomorrow I’ll make a Thai sweet green chili paste, because I harvested today some 4 lbs of that one too.
        I must be honest: I did not use the mortar for the wet stuff, but I roasted the dry ingredients (I used hole seeds instead of powders) before banging on them. At the end I boiled the whole batch and put into small glass jars for future use and presents.

        • Mark Wiens

          1 year ago

          Hi Andras, thank you for sharing, so glad you made chili paste, sounds delicious. Enjoy the thai sweet green chili paste too!

  • ANHC P

    2 years ago

    Mark, fair play for the elbow grease, very rewarding.

    I’ve gave this recipe a go on two occasions now, and I find 3 tsps of white pepper corns simply inedible. Fortunately I’ve access to all the authentic ingredients required, and as a methodical cook, I find that fantastic balance that one finds in Thai food completely overpowered by the pepper. I wonder has anyone else found that?

    I have a good tolerance for spice (in terms of heat) so I’m surprised. I guess I can just put less white pepper corns, but thought I’d share my experience.

    Best wishes

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi ANHC, great to hear from you, thank you for sharing.

      I double checked my ingredients, and that’s how much white pepper corn I used, and I didn’t have a strong pepper flavor. Usually the white peppercorns in Thailand are very mild – even when I eat one by itself, it just has a faint pepper flavor.

      But that’s one reason it’s difficult to write down recipes for Thai food, because it’s so taste based, and ingredients / spices can vary in flavor and strength from location to location and even season to season.

      Have you tried it already with less white pepper corns? Let me know how it goes, and thank you again for sharing.

      • ANHC P

        2 years ago

        Appreciate you taking the time to reply Mark.
        It must certainly be the potency of the peppercorns. I tried to eat one on its own as you mentioned; some seriously strong flavour. I think 1tsp of peppercorns may even be a little much. I’ll certainly decrease the amount, because the rest of the recipe is just excellent.
        I look forward to a Massaman style curry if you get round to it :)

        Keep living the culinary dream!
        Thanks again,

        • Mark Wiens

          2 years ago

          You’re welcome, glad it’s helpful. Ok, going to try to make massaman soon!

  • Elin

    2 years ago

    Its a beautiful paste. Although I have to say I just went straight for the food processor hee hee. :)
    Thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Thank you Elin, that’s alright, glad you enjoyed it!

  • Kang

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Awesome recipe! I’m hoping you can advise on a few items as it is hard to get two ingredients here in my part of Canada, and wondering you would recommend any substitutions.

    – Shrimp paste – there are many types (the one I’m familiar with is Belacan which is what I’m used to when I was in Malaysia. Where I live, I could only find this type of shrimp paste (it’s the moist type, not dried type): http://us.lkk.com/en/Products/retail/cooking-and-dipping-sauces/shrimp-sauce-finely-ground
    – Kaffir Lime – unfortunately, I couldn’t find this fruit anywhere. I can easily find the Kaffir lime leaves, but not the lime. Do you have any recommendations on substitution or what happens if I omit it.

    Thanks!
    Kang

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Kang, great to hear from you, glad you’re making Thai curry paste. As for ingredients, I’m not so familiar with the shrimp paste you mentioned, but I think it should work fine. For the kaffir lime, instead of the peel, since you can get the leaves, I think adding a couple leaves would work well, just make sure they are fully ground into your paste – they should give your curry paste that nice citrus flavor. Let me know how it turns out!

      • Geoff

        1 year ago

        Hi. As an alternative to shrimp paste. Could anchovies be used…??

        • Mark Wiens

          1 year ago

          Hey Geoff, if you can get ahold of shrimp paste it would really be best, but I think anchovies could be a good replacement as they have that fish flavor. Or even, you could omit the shrimp paste and just add a bit more salt. Hope it all goes well!

  • Aurelio

    2 years ago

    love your website, very informative and easy to follow. I was wondering if you might have any of the following recipes for curry pastes; masaman, panang and green.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Aurelio, thank you very much, great to hear that. I haven’t made any of those recipes yet, but they will be coming soon for sure. Look out for then in the coming months. Thank you!

  • Alice Lynch

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark

    Thanks for posting the red curry paste recipe – it looks amazing! I’m struggling to find dried red spur chillies here in the UK. Can you suggest an alternative please?

    Many thanks

    Alice

  • marlina

    2 years ago

    Sawadee Ka Khun Mark,

    My names is Marlina from Bali Indonesia. I love to see your program about the Thai food. i enjoyed how you presentation about the food and love to see how you do;. I love Thai food and your program make me always wants to try and want to come to Bangkok as much as I can. I love to try different food in Thailand.
    Your recommended nice places for the best food in Thailand is very helpful.

    sucess and waiting for your next program.

    Greeting from Bali, Indonesia.

  • Nari

    2 years ago

    OOps, I’m so sorry, I am just learning to use HTML, I didn’t mean to make the link so big. I meant it to say ” and some use turmeric” with a link to the recipe.
    Kor Toad, Ka!
    Nari

  • Nari

    2 years ago

    Sawadee Ka Khun Mark!
    I am half Thai and always remember the incredible curries my Ya used to make and I’m craving them today.
    I’m curious though when searching for Kung Gaeng Ped recipes why some have cumin and coriander? Is this for different regions? Sorry to post an alternate recipe, I’m wanting to re-create my Grandmother’s recipe and wish I knew what she used…
    Kapkun mak ka for your hard work and attention to detail!
    Sawadee ka,
    Nari

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Nari, great to hear from you, thank you very much, and good to hear you’re craving some of the curries.

      For most central Thai versions of red curry paste, I’ve typically seen them include cumin and coriander, however there are many varieties and even different Thai families may prepare dishes and pastes differently – so if you found a recipe without it, could be just a preferred version of the author.

      As for turmeric, it’s typically used in southern Thai curry paste: http://www.eatingthaifood.com/2014/11/how-to-make-southern-thai-curry-paste/

      What part of Thailand are your relatives from?

      Thank you again,
      Mark

  • Michael Heit

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark
    The Red Paste looks great, (better then my Maploy or Maseri brands)

    But can you go the next step and show us all how to use the paste in a recipe.

    for example how much to use in a typical chicken or tofu dish.

    Thanks
    Michael

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Michael, I probably need to go back into this recipe and add some links of dishes to make, but here’s one of my favorites, it’s called “gai pad prik gaeng,” – chicken stir fried with red curry paste. Hope you enjoy it!

      • Marcia

        2 years ago

        Hi Mark – I was searching for Thai recipes and came across your site. I just got back from a trip to Thailand and Myanmar and have tried to make some dishes here at home. We have an Asian Market in Gainesville, but I can’t find everything I need there. Can you recommend any place to purchase hard to find items like fresh Kaffir leaves and fresh galangal? I have found some frozen, but it’s just not the same. Thanks for any advice you might provide. I’m going to try some of these recipes for sure.
        Thanks, Marcia

        • Mark Wiens

          2 years ago

          Hello Marcia, great to hear from you, glad you enjoyed the food and are cooking some dishes too. Hmm, I’ve never been to Gainesville, but I’ve been to some Asian supermarkets on the West coast of the US, and they usually carry just about everything. Maybe have you done any searches online for Asian shops that will send produce to you? That might be a good option. Keep cooking Thai food!

        • Abe Song

          2 years ago

          Gainesville, Georgia? If so, if you can… make a trip down to Atlanta to Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. They have galanga, kafir limes, etc.!

          If it’s Gainesville, FL, then sorry can’t help you!

  • Ted

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark, what an awesome site with amazing recipes-can’t wait to try them all!

    Just a quick question r.e. Kaffir limes. You just can’t get them here in the UK so would an acceptable alternative be to just leave it out or to finely cut kaffir lime leaves?

    Thanks once again for such a great site.

    Ted

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Ted, thank you very much, glad you love Thai food too. That’s a good question, do you mean as a substitute for the kaffir lime peel? I think you might try just a bit of regular lime peel, or even lemon peel – that will have the citrus oil that gives the curry paste that slight zest.

      • Ted

        2 years ago

        Hi Mark,
        Sorry for not being clear, that’s exactly what I meant! Thanks for the advice will give it a go- it’s going to be a Thai food year! As every year should be:)

        Ted

  • TK

    2 years ago

    Your food blog is great. Thanks for all the info.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey TK, you’re welcome, thank you for reading.

  • Arnaud

    3 years ago

    Sawasdee khrap Mark, sabaidee mai

    I always did all my curry pastes by myself, and I totally agree with you: nothing compares to that. Since my expertise is growing in Thai food, I have noticed some variations into the past recipes (actually I never found twice the same recipe for any thai dish :) ), and I should recognize that David Thompson’s cookbook are probably the best ones, though the most complex. They always include an extra ingredient that makes the difference in my opinion.

    Now two things surprise me in your article: the fact that the pastes sold on markets in Thailand are not as good as homemade ones. I thought they were homemade even though I was wondering how they could make them in so big quantities, and so smooth. And secondly, how can you make a past in 45 min… It usually takes me nearly 2 to 3 hours. Am I that slow? :)) I’ll purchase a new pestle and mortar when I will in BKK this week end, it might help me going faster.

    Arnaud

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Arnaud, great to hear from you, sabai dee krap.

      Ok, here’s what I think, the Thai curry pastes that you’ll find fresh in the markets in Thailand can be very good, and that’s what I normally eat on a daily basis – but the reason they are not quite as good, in my opinion, as when you make it yourself, is because in the market they make huge amounts, and the pastes often sit for a while – they don’t make them everyday – you’ll find them in big mountains and they slowly get purchased – so they aren’t as fresh. This one took us 45 minutes because I think it’s a pretty small amount of curry paste (but double this amount would for sure take twice as long). Yesterday I made southern Thai curry paste, about twice this amount and it took 1.5 – 2 hours.

      Keep up the great cooking!

  • Duise

    3 years ago

    How long will it Keep

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Duise, I think it will probably keep for a week or so in the fridge, but it’s always best fresh.

  • Maijin

    3 years ago

    Looks awesome and delicious.
    You should try to use a Garlic crusher for ingredients like Garlic, Shallot , lemongrass. It’s working also swith ginger so probably with galangal \o/ So much quicker and still better than a food processor.

  • Roy Sim

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I enjoy every one of your videos especially the Thai Recipes videos. I have repeatedly watch these videos for months now. I have tried some of the basic recipes and they are wonderful. My friends love my cooking now. I feel like a pro.

    Thank you for your sharing. It is great. By the way, will you be adding new recipes soon?

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Roy, thank you very much, glad you enjoy them. Yes, I will be posting more recipes soon.

  • Theo

    3 years ago

    You have a very healthy recipe here Mark and i love the way you simplified the whole process making it very comprehensible and easy to replicate.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Pascal

    3 years ago

    Thanks Mark for this interesting receipt.
    How long we can keep this past please? I think this past need to be refrigered for longer use.
    I’m interested by cooking in the bush (without electricity or fridge) So for my case, saddly i may need a pot of Mae ploy (with artificial preservatives)

    By the way, i’m interested by Veg.Thai cooking receipts for daily cooking…should be simple & healty ;-) Meats it’s ok, very tasty but we can’t eat it daily for health.

    Thank you Mark !

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Pascal, you’re welcome. Yes, I think it would need to be refrigerated to keep it, mainly because these are all fresh ingredients, with no preservatives. But in the fridge maybe it would last a few days or up to a week, but I think it would taste best if fresh immediately. Alright, will try to write some veg recipes too.

      • Pascal

        3 years ago

        Ok thank you Mark! ;-)

  • Paul

    3 years ago

    Mark, your recipe series is my favorite thing. Excellent recipes and the videos make it really easy to follow them. Can’t wait for next week’s recipe!

  • Ashley

    3 years ago

    I made red curry paste at a cooking class in Thailand and it definitely takes some serious muscle! Worth it because it’s so delicious, though!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Great to hear that Ashley, yes I agree, making it by hand is so worth the work.