Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe

Thai red curry is loved worldwide, with many versions. But here, you’ll discover the real deal – the real Red Thai curry paste recipe that has been in my family for generations. Feel free to tweak things if you’re missing some ingredients, but for that true, authentic taste, follow my recipe closely as closely as possible!

This recipe embodies the essence of Thai kitchens, passed down through generations. Authentic Red Thai curry paste isn’t just a mixture of ingredients; it’s a connection to the culinary heritage of Thailand.

What is Thai Red Curry Paste?

Thai Red Curry Paste is a vibrant and flavorful seasoning essential in Thai cuisine. It’s a fragrant blend of various ingredients that come together to create the foundation for Thai red curries and other dishes. This paste adds depth, heat, and complexity to recipes, making it a versatile and indispensable component of Thai cooking.

Thai Red Curry Paste is known for its brilliant red color, thanks to the vibrant red chilies used in its preparation.

It serves as the base for a variety of Thai dishes, particularly red curries which feature meat, seafood, or vegetables simmered in coconut milk along with the red curry paste. This paste can also be used to add a Thai twist to stir-fries, soups, marinades, and more.

It really is a cornerstone of Thai cuisine, delivering a combination of heat, aromatic spices which is why it is essential to use a real Red Thai curry paste recipe.

thai red curry paste recipe

Is It Essential to Use a Pestle and Mortar?

a Real Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe Requires a Pestle and Mortar

Using a pestle and mortar instead of a blender for certain culinary tasks offers a unique set of advantages and results. In the case of creating pastes like Thai Red or Green Curry Paste, the choice between a pestle and mortar and a blender can impact the final outcome in several ways:

1. Control over Texture: A pestle and mortar allow you to exert precise control over the texture of the ingredients being pounded. You can adjust the pressure and movement to achieve the desired level of coarseness or smoothness, which is particularly important for pastes like Thai Red Curry Paste, where texture is integral to the final dish.

2. Enhanced Aromatics: The act of grinding ingredients with a pestle and mortar releases essential oils and aromas more gradually, preserving the nuanced flavors of the ingredients. This results in a paste with a more intense and complex fragrance, adding depth to the dish.

3. Tradition and Technique: Using a pestle and mortar carries a sense of tradition and craftsmanship. It connects you to Thai cooking techniques that have been used for generations. I can gurantee that every genuine Red Thai curry paste recipe would advise you to use a pestle and mortar.

However, it’s important to note that using a pestle and mortar can be more time-consuming and physically demanding compared to a blender, especially for larger quantities of ingredients. Blenders offer speed and efficiency.

In essence, the choice between a pestle and mortar and a blender depends on your desired outcome, the level of control you want over texture and aroma, and the appreciation you have for traditional cooking methods. Both tools have their merits, and your choice may vary based on the specific dish you’re preparing and your personal cooking style.

Traditional Red Thai Curry Paste Recipe

Feel free to change things up if you can’t find all the ingredients but if you want it to be authentic then you need to follow it to the tee!

Staying true to the original recipe is like embarking on a cultural adventure. Following it meticulously allows you to savor the traditional flavors that have stood the test of time and have been in my family for decades.

Authentic Red Thai Curry Paste

The 100% authentic version of Thai Red Curry Paste
Prep Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: thai
Keyword: red curry paste, thai red curry paste
Servings: 4 curries


  • Pestle and Mortar


  • 50 g dries red chillies
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 20 g garlic
  • 20 g shallots
  • 20 g lemongrass
  • 20 g galangal
  • 15 g kaffir lime skin

How to Make Red Thai Curry Paste

Once you have all the ingredients sorted, the first thing you should do is soak your chillies in some hot water. 20 minutes should be enough to soften them and make cutting them up a bit easier. In the meantime you can begin cutting up the rest of the ingredients. When the chillies have softened up cut them up as well.

Place the peppercorns in the mortar and begin pounding, when they start to break down add in a pinch of salt just to help preserve your curry paste and make it last longer.

Next in is the galangal and then shortly after, the lemon grass, garlic and shallots. Keep pounding away! The last ingredient before the chillies go in is the kaffir lime skin.

Keep pounding away until everything starts to break down. When it looks like the photo below you can put the chillies in. It’s better to put half in at a time. If you’ve got a good technique you are roughly half an hour away from finishing!

Keep pounding away until it’s really started to become a paste. That’s when the shrimp paste goes in. The shrimp paste will give the curry a real tangy flavour. If you are vegetarian you can skip it.

Another ten or fifteen minutes and you should be done!

You probably won’t use all this curry paste in one go so make sure you keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. It will last quite a few days.

Watch the Video For a More Detailed Explanation

4.9/5 - (14 votes)

Leave a Comment

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.