Thai Red Curry Paste
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo
It’s most authentic to prepare curry pastes with a mortar and pestle. Don’t be deterred. This pungent, aromatic curry paste can also be prepared in a mini–food processor. The result will be a smoother paste, but the flavors won’t suffer in the least. Use as a seasoning for any Thai curry using beef, pork, dark-meat chicken, or lamb.
NotesTips for Using Curry Sauces:
• Sauté meats (like cut-up chicken parts, beef, lamb, goat, or pork cut into 1-inch pieces) in a light-flavored oil over medium-high heat until well browned, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the curry sauce. Simmer until the meat is tender.
• Pork, dark-meat chicken, lamb or goat shoulder, or shin meat works best for Caribbean-style curries, because the longer it takes to cook, the more flavorful the stew.
• Light-meat chicken, seafood, or pork tenderloin works best in Thai curries, because the sauce is already flavorful and doesn’t need to cook for very long.
• Lean meats, such as boneless chicken breast, pork tenderloin, pork loin, or beef sirloin (which I don’t recommend) require little simmering; remove the meat after browning, then add the sauce. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, then add the meat and cook briefly to avoid overcooking.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, soy free, tree nut free
Equipmentfood processor, mortar and pestle
Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, hot & spicy, savory, spiced, tangy, umami
Type of DishCondiments, sauces
- 20 small dried red hot chiles, seeded and chopped
- 2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner bulb from the bottom 5 inches, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (leaves, stems, and roots, if attached)
- One 2-inch piece fresh galangal or ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lime, removed in strips with a peeler
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons peanut or other mild-flavored vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons water
In a mortar using a pestle or in a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the oil and water and pound or process until coarsely pureed. Add the oil and pound or process until a fairly smooth paste forms. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time if the paste is too dry to process. Will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
2005 Grace Parisi
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED RECIPES
Free recipes, giveaways, exclusive partner offers, and more straight to your inbox!
Report Inappropriate Comment
Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.
Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.