Green Curry Paste Recipe

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green curry paste green curry paste

Even though most people living in Bangkok buy store bought curry pastes, nothing compares to the scent of the curry paste being made.  It perfumes the whole kitchen.  The arduous process, from sourcing the ingredients to pounding out the paste, is daunting but the reward is grand. 

Often store bought green curry paste is too spicy so that I can't put enough paste in without having the curry be too hot.  When you make it yourself, you will be able to control the heat in your own curry paste by adjusting the amount of green chili peppers you add.

Green curry paste's ingredients are the same as red curry paste, except for the chilies.  The red in red curry paste comes from dried chili peppers, while the green in green curry paste comes from fresh green chili peppers.  Green chilies turn from red when ripe.

Don't worry about making too much: you can store excess in your freezer for up to a year.

10 Servings, Prep Time: 30 Minutes, Total Time: 30 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • In making green curry paste, one important, but difficult-to-find ingredient is kaffir lime zest.  Please do not substitute kaffir lime leaves for the zest as you would not substitute lemon leaves for lemon zest in lemon meringue pie. Kaffir lime zest has a distinct scent and flavor and regular western limes are an ineffective substitute.
  • Cilantro roots are often not available; substitute stems for roots.
  • The technique to using a mortar and pestle is to pound down at an angle then drag it, grind and twist it up toward yourself. Use the other hand to cup the opening, to both prevent the contents from bouncing out and steady the mortar.  Then pound and pound and pound. It will take a lot of grinding to make smooth curry paste.
  • The purpose of the leaves is primarily to add a beautiful bright green color without adding heat.  If you try to get the same color without the leaves, you will need many peppers and the paste will be very hot.
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