For a Thai paste and sauce that tastes authentic and is simple to make, try this recipe! Making your own Thai paste or sauce isn’t difficult, and the results taste much better than the store-bought variety. Also, because you’re making them yourself, you’ll get healthier and fresher tasting curry.
There is a common misconception Thai green curry is green in colour from all the Thai basil used in the recipe.
While there is often Thai Sweet Basil added to the curry the real green of the curry comes from the Thai green chillies that are the main ingredient of the Thai green curry paste used to make the curry. So actually the greenness comes from the chilies. The green chillies is bird’s eye chillies but only the green ones are used for the recipe. Its difficult to get Thai green ones in UK so I use a mix of hot birds eye, bullet and whatever I can find. If you want your paste mild reduce chillies and de-seed. Me, well goes without saying, hotter the better!
Thai Green curry is known as Gaeng Keow Wan, which directly translates to curry green sweet. So this is typically known throughout Thailand as a sweeter tasting curry rather than the spicy Thai yellow curry.
Some recipes add extra sugar to make the green curry sweeter, other traditional Thai green curry recipes just rely on the coconut cream to provide the sweetness. I prefer the latter without adding extra sugar in the curry but just what is required for balance in the paste.
Like with many other Thai recipes especially curries, the paste is the most important flavouring of the entire dish.
The curry paste is a mixture of all the ingredients that are pounded together untill all the oils are released and ingredients are fully pureed into a paste in texture.
First step in this Thai curry paste recipe is to prepare all the ingredients to pound.
Peel the garlic, shallots and slice the galangal and cilantro roots into small pieces.
Dry roast the spices, the coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan for about a minute to bring out the aroma. They will smell amazing with their flavour enhanced.
Pound the ingredients in a stone pestle or mortar but leave the shrimp paste to add right at the end. You can add ingredients in whichever order you like but ensure that they are blended well together. This is likely to be the most exhaustive and labour-intensive part of making an authentic Thai curry paste.
You can be sure the time and effort in sweat will be worth the end result.
If you prefer, and often in this day and age its necessary, you can use a food processor to make the Thai green curry paste much faster, still much better than buying ready made curry paste however you will not be able to extract all the flavour oils from the ingredients as you pound the ingredients slowly by hand. To address this I try to pound the chopped ingredients initially to bruise then finish of in the Nutri Bullet. It makes me feel better!
Place all ingredients in a food processor, chopper, or high-speed blender. Add just enough coconut milk to allow the ingredients to blend together, adding a little more if needed. Process well to form a smooth and fragrant green curry paste.
When your Thai green curry paste is just about completely done, the final step is to add the shrimp paste and give the paste a final pound and stir to make sure the shrimp paste is evenly incorporated.
Your curry paste may not be as fine as the shop bought variety is, that is okay It shall definitely make up for it in flavour, your curry paste should be nice and green in colour and have an amazing green chilli aroma with a hint of cumin and coriander.
When your curry paste is done, always taste for salt and spice, as curry can be a trial-and-error process to achieve the right flavour balance. Add more fish or soy sauce if not salty enough, or more chilli or pepper if it’s not spicy enough.
This Thai green curry paste recipe is ready to be used as soon as you make it. You can also store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and use it as needed. The best part? The paste can also be frozen for future use. But trust me its used up pretty quick with various other dishes listed below!
My daughter made this curry using my green paste today. I wanted to double check it works with instructions. She cooks this often from practice and familiarity but did so bearing in mind feedback was for the blog.
It was a resounding success as always.
Please make this with all the ingredients as they all play an essential part in giving you the authentic taste and flavour otherwise you will not enjoy what I know it to be!
INGREDIENTS FOR MY THAI GREEN CURRY PASTE:
1/2 cup fresh thai sweet basil
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro stems or 5 roots
10 green chillies roughly chopped, seeds removed for less heat (if desired)
6 cloves garlic
3 lemongrass, bottom 4 inches roughly chopped (or 3 tablespoons prepared frozen or bottled lemongrass)
3 shallots, roughly chopped (or 1/4 cup chopped red onion)
1 thumb size piece galangal (or ginger), peeled and sliced 10 kafir lime leaves 3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tbsp shrimp paste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground white pepper or 1 tbsp whole white peppercorns
3 to 4 tablespoons coconut milk
To make a green curry:
Sauté the paste in a tablespoon of oil for about two minutes, then add the rest of the can of coconut milk leftover from making the paste. Add a few handfuls of chopped veggies and protein of choice. I just used cauliflower, mangetout and peas today for simple veg curry. Simmer until cooked through and top with more fresh basil or coriander.
Taste the curry for salt and spice. If it’s too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Add more chili peppers for more heat, and blend again if needed.
To balance excessive spiciness, add more coconut milk. If it’s become too salty or sweet, add a squeeze of lime juice. If it’s too sour for your taste, add a touch more sugar.
Finish your curry by sprinkling over generous amounts of fresh coriander spring onions and fresh chilli.
As with most Thai Curries serve with steaming bowl of aromatic or plain boiled rice!
How to Use Thai Green Curry Paste:
Add it to your favorite meats or seafood, noodles, vegetables, tofu, or wheat gluten, this paste will create sumptuous curries. Or use it to make delicious soups or noodle dishes.
You can also use the curry paste as a marinade for seafood or meat, stir fry it with veggies as a “dry” sauce, or add to soup for a punch of flavour.
Try using it for making spicy fried rice!
How to Store and Freeze:
You can bottle up any leftovers and seal them completely. Curry paste should keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
For longer storage, you can freeze it. Add to an ice cube tray, freeze, then transfer to a zip-close bag for up to a month. Take them out individually as needed per your recipe.
For vegetarian/vegan paste: Replace the fish sauce and shrimp paste with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
You could add up to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, but this tends to turn the paste brownish-green instead of bright green.
As you’re cooking, you can also add 2 to 3 kafir lime leaves (left whole) as well as any leftover lemongrass stalk pieces for even more flavor.
If you want more spicy heat, add more fresh green chillies.
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