From-Scratch Curry Paste

By Andrew Zimmern

Homemade red curry paste is so much better than the store-bought stuff and keeps forever in the fridge. So why not do it from scratch?

Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste


  • 12 dried Thai chiles
  • 1/2 cup shallots, sliced
  • 12 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup lemon grass, thinly sliced
  • 1 golf ball size piece of galangal, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coriander root, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lime rind, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons shrimp paste


First, remove the stem and seeds from the dried Thai chiles. Soak the chiles in 1/2 cup of hot water for 30 minutes. I cover my bowl with plastic wrap. Remove the chiles, and reserve the chile-water.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and let run on high until ingredients are essentially emulsified. Sometimes I add a few teaspoons of the chile-water to get things going.

Reserve the curry paste to a plastic tub in the fridge and use for stir-fries, soups or any recipe calling for Thai red curry paste, such as these Fish Cakes.

Seared Scallops with Homemade Green Curry
Thai Fish Cakes with Chili Garlic Sauce
Shrimp Curry with Cauliflower

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