Basic Red Thai Curry Paste
(น้ำพริกแกงเผ็ด ; nam phrik gaaeng phet)

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By: Hanuman

This page is also available in: Thai

I know it is easy to reach to the supermarket shelves and grab a pack of Thai curry paste. I hope that you will consider making your own and I think you should. Things often get lost in translation, and even worse if they are commercially pre-packed for five years of use. Thai cooking is based on freshness and if you are serious about Thai cooking, you will be amazed how with just a bit of an effort your food rises into new levels.

Basic Red Thai Curry Paste Recipe


  • 10 long dried chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon galangal, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks medium size lemon grass (about 5 tablespoon) , finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kaffir lime zest, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander root (about 3 stalks), finely chopped
  • 8 medium garlic cloves (about 4 tablespoon) , finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon gabpi (fermented shrimp paste)


  1. Soak the chilies in water until soft.
  2. In a mortar and pestle start pounding the chilies with salt as an abrasive.
  3. Add galangal and lemon grass and work it finely
  4. Add rest on the ingredients and pound it until smooth.
  5. Keep working it until you cannot identify the separate components by smelling it. The paste should wear a new smell, which is the sum of all the ingredients, and is something new.
  6. Add the gabpi and mix well.
  7. The paste stores well in air tight container for couple of weeks in the refrigerator.