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
MAKE THE CURRY PASTE
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.