Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe

Thai green curry paste on a spoon
The Spruce
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving

Thai green curry paste is surprisingly easy to make, and it's much fresher tasting than the store-bought variety. Added to your favorite meats or seafood, noodles, vegetables, tofu, or wheat gluten, this paste will create delicious, velvety curries. This paste is also excellent added to noodles, soups, or used as a marinade for fish, shellfish, chicken, or pork. For beef or bison, slicing the meat very thinly and adding vegetables such as eggplant and chopped tomatoes to the curry is especially good.

When your curry paste is done, always taste for salt and spice, as curry can be a trial-and-error process to achieve the right flavor balance. Add more fish or soy sauce if not salty enough, or some sliced Thai red chiles if it's not spicy enough (or add some dried crushed chili pepper). To balance excessive spiciness, add more coconut milk. If it's become too salty or sweet, add a squeeze of lime juice. If it's too sour for your taste, add a touch more sugar. Finish your curry by sprinkling over generous amounts of fresh basil.

This Thai green curry paste recipe is ready to be used as soon as you make it, but you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and use it as needed. The best part? The paste can also be frozen for future use. Ice cube trays come in handy for this task, although it's not essential.

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Ingredients

  • 1 stalk​ lemongrass (minced or 3 tablespoons prepared frozen or bottled lemongrass; available at Asian stores)
  • 1 to 3 green chiles (or Thai green chiles or jalapeños, sliced)
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 cup red onion, sliced)
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2-inch size piece of galangal (or ginger, thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoon​ fish sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon ​​​shrimp paste
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon coconut milk (enough to blend ingredients together)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Thai green curry paste recipe ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor, chopper, or high-speed blender. Process well to form a smooth and fragrant Thai green curry paste.

    Thai green curry paste ingredients in high-speed blender
    The Spruce
  3. Taste the curry for salt and spice. If it's too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Add more chile peppers for more heat, and blend again if needed.

    Thai Green Curry Paste in jar
    The Spruce
  4. Your curry paste is now ready to be used in your favorite recipe. Enjoy!

Tips

If using a mortar and pestle, pound all dry herbs & spices together to form a paste, then gradually add the wet ingredients, stirring until smooth.

Recipe Variations

  • For vegetarian/vegan paste: Replace the fish sauce and shrimp paste, with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • You could add 3 tablespoon 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.
  • As you're cooking, you can also add 2 to 3 makrut lime leaves (left whole) as well as any leftover lemongrass stalk pieces for even more flavor.

How to Store and Freeze Thai Green Curry Paste

You can bottle up any leftovers and seal them completely. Curry paste should keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For longer storage, some folks say the taste will be altered if you freeze it, but if you would like to do so, it's helpful to freeze the curry in ice cube trays. Then transfer to a zip-close bag for up to a month, and take them out individually as needed per your recipe.