Red Curry Paste - Prig Gang Ped พริกแกงเผ็ด

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Red Curry Paste is an English term that encompassed 2 types of Thai red curry paste, Prig Gang Ped (Red Curry Paste) and Prig Gang Kua (Basic Red Curry Paste). Red Curry Paste is Basic Red Curry Paste with toasted peppercorns, cumin and coriander.

Red curry paste is darker in color compared to Basic Red Curry Paste because of the added dry spices. The aroma of red curry paste is a blend of lemongrass, kaffir lime zest and the dried spices. You use this curry paste to red curries that are generally creamy and salty.

See how Red Curry Paste differs from Basic Red Curry Paste.

10 Servings, Prep Time: 27 Minutes, Total Time: 27 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • In making red 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.
  • One of the benefits of making your own curry paste is that you can control the heat. Use large dried chili peppers for mild curry. Use dried Thai chili peppers if you like you curry extra hot.
  • In Thailand, almost every mother would teach you to seed and soak the dried chili peppers in water before pounding. However, my mother loves technologies and experiments, she found this method messy and harder to grind. Instead she puts her dried chili peppers in a toaster oven for 5 minutes to get rid of the moisture. Do not toast the peppers! You want low heat.  Once when the peppers are super dried, they are crunchy and easier to grind. Without the water, it's not as messy.


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