Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe

Thai Green Curry Paste
The Spruce
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 Cup (1 portion)

Thai green curry paste is surprisingly easy to make, and it's much healthier and 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!


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  • 1 stalk​ lemongrass (minced or 3 tablespoon prepared frozen or bottled lemongrass; available at Asian stores)
  • 1 to 3 green chilies (or Thai green chilies or jalapeños, sliced)
  • 1 shallot (or 4 tablespoon minced purple onion, sliced)
  • 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 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (available in most supermarket spice aisles)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoon​ fish sauce (vegetarians: substitute 1 tablespoon soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon ​​​shrimp paste (available at Asian stores; vegetarians: substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 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 blender. Process well to form a fragrant Thai green curry paste.

    ingredients in food processor
    The Spruce
  3. 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.

    Thai Green Curry Paste in jar
    The Spruce
  4. 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.
  • If using a pestle and mortar: 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 tablespoon soy sauce plus 1/3 teaspoon salt, as stated in the ingredients list. Alternatively, 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 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.

For recipes using this curry paste, see vegetarian Thai green curry (vegan), or follow the steps below.

How to Make a Thai Green Curry With this Paste

  1. Heat a wok or large frying pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 to 3 tablespoon oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste. 
  2. Stir-fry until fragrant (1 minute), then add 1 cup stock plus your curry ingredients (meat, seafood, or tofu/wheat gluten and vegetables).
  3. 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.