Thai green curry paste is surprisingly easy to make, and it's much healthier & fresher-tasting than the store-bought variety. Added to your favorite meats or seafood, noodles, vegetables, tofu, or wheat gluten, this paste will create sumptuous curries. Or use it to make delicious soups or noodle dishes. Cook with the paste right away, or store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and use it as you need it. The paste can also be frozen for future use. Enjoy!
- 1 stalk lemongrass (minced or 3 tbsp. prepared frozen or bottled lemongrass; available at Asian stores)
- 1 to 3 green chilies (sliced; Thai green chilies or jalapeños)
- 1 shallot (sliced, or 4 tbsp. minced purple onion)
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal (or ginger, thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped fresh)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper (available in most supermarket spice aisles)
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 3 tbsp. fish sauce (vegetarians: substitute 1 Tbsp. soy sauce)
- 1 tsp. shrimp paste (available at Asian stores; vegetarians: substitute 1/2 tsp. salt)
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 3 to 4 tbsp. coconut milk (enough to blend ingredients together)
Place all ingredients in a food processor, chopper, or blender.
Process well to form a fragrant Thai green curry paste. Taste-test it for salt and spice. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Add more chili for more heat. Your curry paste is now ready to be used. You can bottle up any leftovers and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freeze thereafter. Enjoy!
If using a pestle & mortar (as pictured): Pound all dry herbs & spices together to form a paste, then gradually add the wet ingredients, stirring until smooth. Your curry paste is now ready to use (see below for cooking tips).
For Vegetarian/Vegan Paste: Instead of fish sauce and shrimp paste, add 1 Tbsp. soy sauce plus 1/3 tsp. salt, as stated in the ingredients list. Alternatively, you could add 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, but this tends to turn the paste brownish-green instead of bright green, as one of the reviewers of this recipe so helpfully noted.
For recipes using this curry paste, see vegetarian Thai green curry (vegan), OR follow the steps below.
To Make a Thai Green Curry with this Paste (+ More Cooking Tips)
Heat a wok or large frying pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste. Stir-fry until fragrant (1 minute), then add 1 cup stock plus your curry ingredients (meat, seafood, or tofu/wheat gluten + vegetables). Simmer until ingredients are cooked, gradually adding 1/2 to 1 can coconut milk until you're happy with the taste/thickness/amount of sauce.
As you're cooking, you can also add 2 to 3 kaffir lime leaves (left whole) as well as any leftover lemongrass stalk pieces for even more flavor.
When your curry is done, always perform a taste-taste for salt and spice. Add more fish or soy sauce if not salty enough, or some fresh-cut Thai red chilies if not spicy enough (OR add some dried crushed chili). If too spicy, add more coconut milk. If too salty or sweet, add a squeeze of lime juice. If too sour for your taste, add a touch more sugar. Finish your curry by sprinkling over generous amounts of fresh basil.
This paste is also excellent added to noodles, soups, or used as a marinade for fish, shellfish, chicken or pork. For beef or bison, I find it best to make it into a curry (as noted above), slicing the meat very thinly and adding vegetables like eggplant and chopped tomatoes. ENJOY!