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Thai Green Curry Paste

  • Sauce / Condiment
  • Thai
  • Active Time:20 min
  • Total Time:20 min
  • Servings:¾ cup
  • Difficulty:Intermediate
Photo by Grace Parisi

Green curry paste is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, using fresh chiles and lots of aromatic lemongrass, galangal, and shrimp paste. If you don’t want a super spicy curry paste, remove all the seeds from the chiles. Freeze any leftover curry paste in 2-tablespoon lumps – an ice cube tray is perfect!

This Thai curry paste is especially good in fish curries, or as a marinade for grilled shrimp or salmon.


  • 8 small Thai bird chiles, stemmed and finely chopped

  • 3 (6-inch) long, mild green chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner bulb from the bottom 4 inches, finely chopped

  • 1 ½-inch piece galangal or ginger, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 Makrut lime leaves, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (leaves, stems, and roots if attached)

  • ½ tablespoon shrimp paste (or 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce)

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon peanut or other mild-flavored vegetable oil



Using a large mortar and pestle or food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the oil and pound or process until coarsely puréed. Add the oil and pound or process until a fairly smooth paste forms. Use right away or freeze for up to 3 months.