Spring Green Thai Curry Paste

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

DIY May 9, 2016

Stir this bright, tingling, fresh-tasting curry paste into coconut milk, and you’ve got a delicious sauce for chicken, fish, shellfish and as many vegetables as will fit in the pot. Remember to wear gloves when handling chilies.

For a less spicy paste, omit the Thai chilies and use only serrano peppers. For a spicier version, use both types of chilies and include the seeds.

Traditionalists use a mortar and pestle to pound this blend of chilies, herbs and spices into a paste, but a food processor or high-powered blender (such as a NutriBullet or Vitamix) makes quick work of the entire process.

Make Ahead: The paste can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days (the color may darken a bit); it can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Where to Buy: Shrimp paste is available at Asian and some Latino markets.


Servings:  Tested size: 2.5 cups; makes five 4-ounce jars
  • 12 green Thai chili peppers (stemmed and seeded), coarsely chopped
  • 12 serrano chili peppers (stemmed and seeded), coarsely chopped as needed
  • 3 medium stalks lemon grass (tough outer layers removed), cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 3 limes, juiced, zest cut into strips with a vegetable peeler (white pith removed)
  • 2 ounces (a chunky 3-inch piece) fresh galangal or ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup packed mint leaves
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped (white and green parts)
  • 2 bunches green garlic, chopped (may substitute 2 bunches ramps or 2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons shrimp paste (optional)

Related Recipes


Combine the green Thai and serrano peppers, lemon grass, lime juice and zest, galangal or ginger, cilantro, mint, basil, onions and garlic in a food processor or high-powered blender. Pulse a few times, then add the fish sauce, salt, cumin, white pepper and water. Puree until smooth.

If using, enclose the shrimp paste in a small piece of aluminum foil and heat it in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through; you will smell it when it’s ready. Unwrap and add the warmed shrimp paste to the curry paste. Puree until well combined and smooth.

Pack the curry paste into clean 4-ounce jars or containers.

Recipe Source

From Cathy Barrow, the author of “Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving” (W.W. Norton, 2014).

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

Article from: The Washington Post