What Is Green Curry Paste Made Of?

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ingredients in green curry paste

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Green curry is one of the most classic dishes in Thai cuisine. Let me guess, your first mouthful of this rich and spicy dish is what got you hooked.

Well, if you’d like to make your own creamy Thai green curry recipe from scratch at home rather than spending a chunk of change at every Thai restaurant, you might want to start from its base: the paste.

And making a good green curry paste is all about using the right ingredients.

But what is green curry paste made of?

Green curry is traditionally made from assembling green chilies, shrimp paste, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, peppercorns, makrut limes, and cumin seeds — to boasts enticing flavors, aromas, and textures in any dish.

Also knowing how to use these ingredients (the right quantity as well as how to process them) is something you can’t afford to guess.

So endeavor to read to the end, as we’ll be discussing all of that here on this page.

How To Make Green Curry Paste

What Is Green Curry Paste Made Of

Every Green curry consumer at Thai restaurants (especially first-timers) always confesses their obsession for this spicy, aromatic, and creamy meal.

Here is what is REALLY happening behind the curtain — how the chefs potion the served curries.

Related Post: What Does Green Curry Taste Like?

1. Ingredients and Measurements

Let’s go through all the ingredients.

The appropriate herbs to use:

  • Green chilies
  • Kaffir line Zest or line Zest if you don’t have Kaffir
  • Cilantro root ( 2 tablespoons chopped) or stems lemongrass only the bottom (3 tablespoons chopped)
  • Galangal (1 tablespoon chopped)
  • Thai basil leaves (15 Thai basil leaves)
  • Shallot (2 tablespoons chopped)
  • Garlic (2 tablespoons chopped)

Dry Spices to use:

  • Cumin seeds (1 tablespoon)
  • Toasted Coriander seed (2 tablespoons)
  • White peppercorns (1/4 tablespoon)
  • Salt (1 tablespoon)
  • Fermented Shrimp paste (1 tablespoon)


Thai basil leaves are optional; you could add more chilies.

But it’s what I love adding ever since I discovered most Asian home cooks use it to make their curry paste richer in its green color, without making it too spicy with chilies.

Using it will be the greenest curry paste you will ever make because the ones bought from stores don’t add the little extra greenness from basil leaf.

Also, I want to stress that fermented shrimp paste, or what they call guppy comes in a jar is readily available at any Asian grocery store.

If you don’t have it at hand, you can also add a little bit of miso paste. It is pungent but when added to dishes in small quantities it boosts that umami flavor.

However, if want to make it a vegetarian recipe, you can always leave it out.

2. It is Chopping time!

Chop all of your tough herbs before you start pounding it in your Morton pestle — well that is if you choose to go old school like me.

But if you wish to use an electric device like blenders, you should add a little liquid to make it blend smoothly.

As for the food processor, you probably need to make more than the prescribed quantity of ingredients above, otherwise, it will stick to the sides.

So far, the thing that will help your ministry with the requested ingredients is a stick immersion blender.

Go ahead and give it a try if you have one. But I’d rather stick to my mortar pestle.

Lest I forget, it is advisable to get rid of the seeds and pith from about half of the chilies, so your paste won’t be too spicy.

So go ahead and chop! Chop!! Chop!!!

Related Post: Substitutes for Green Chilies

3. Crush the All the dry spices

Pound your dry spices — the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, as well as white peppercorns.

Besides, I’ve seen a lot of home cooks doing it with a coffee grinder. So please if you have one at home, by all means, use it.

Afterward, set the first finished product in a separate bowl because if you leave it there it will act as a cushion and the rest of the incoming ingredients won’t grind quite as well.

4. Add your chopped chili’s

The chilies should be next in line because they are the hardest thing to crush due to their skin.

I always add a bit of friction to it with the help of coarse salt. You can too.

So once that is nicely done…add the Thai basil and grind.

5. Put all of the other herbs and Grind

If at any point you feel it’s getting moist, well, that’s what your dry spices are there for.

Apply a little to absorb any liquid in there so it doesn’t splash.

Throw in all the shallots and garlic and grind. Feel free to add friction if need be.

Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the Morton now and then. Then put all the spices in.

6. The last man lasting: Shrimp paste

 The last thing that would go in is your shrimp past. And Mmmmm! This is when it starts to smell yummy.

Conclusion | What Is Green Curry Paste Made Of?

In conclusion, your leftover shrimp can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

To promote its shelf life, transfer to an ice cube tray, then store in the freezer bag and the freezer. It will last up to one month.

You can use this homemade curry paste to pair with other curries, soups, salad dressings, sauces, and more.

Related Post: Which Is Hotter Red Or Green Curry?


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