thai red curry paste with shrimp

Thai Red Curry Paste with Shrimp

reeling in the years

A popular ingredient in Thailand, this Thai red curry paste can be added to any dish to enhance its flavor. It is, of course, a primary ingredient in many of the famous Thai curries.  Traditionally, it is patiently pounded by hand with a heavy mortar and pestle, but a food processor does the job quickly and efficiently. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a month.  Marinate a dozen shrimp in this paste, stir fry them quickly with the paste in canola oil, and the result is an instant lunch or dinner.

Thai Red Curry Paste Ingredients

  • 10 small dried red chiles, such as piquins, stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 2-inch stalks lemongrass, including the bulb
  • 1 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon corn or peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Soak the chiles in water for 20 minutes to soften, then remove and drain. Roast the coriander and cumin seeds for about 2 minutes in a dry skillet, and when they are cooled, grind to a fine powder in a spice mill.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree into a fine paste.  Store it in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.