Red Curry Paste

Thai Red Curry Paste

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Thai


  • food processor
  • spice grinder


  • 18 dried Thai red chili peppers -- seeded and halved
  • =====
  • 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 fresh lemongrass stalks
  • =====
  • 4 teaspoons galangal or ginger root -- peeled and chopped
  • 18 kaffir lime leaves -- finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 5 tablespoons shallot
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
  • 15 fresh red serrano chilies -- stemmed seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt


  • Cut dried chilies into 1/4-inch pieces with kitchen shears and soak in warm water until softened for about 20 minutes. Drain well in a sieve.
  • While chiles soak, toast coriander and peppercorns in a dry small heavy skillet over moderate heat, shaking the skillet until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes, then cool. Thinly slice lower 6 inches of lemongrass stalks and finely chop. Finely grind the coriander and peppercorns in a spice grinder.
  • In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, cilantro, shallot, garlic, fresh chilies, and soaked dried chilies. Add a tablespoon or more of water if the mixture is too thick. Add in the coriander-peppercorn mixture, shrimp paste, and salt and pulse until combined well.
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