Sunday, August 21, 2011

Red Curry Paste

    A while ago I posted a recipe for Red Thai Duck Curry that called for a Red Curry Paste. Although I used this curry paste recipe while making the dish, I didn't post the recipe for it. I had made the paste before I started my blog and didn't think to take any preparation photos.
    I recently ran out of my curry paste reserve, and I'm now getting around to making more. I figured I would take this opportunity to share it with you.

Red Curry Paste:


10 dried red chilies
1 kaffir lime (or regular lime, juice and zest)
4 Tbsps. shallots, chopped (I used a red onion)
3 Tbsps. garlic, chopped
2 Tbsps. galangal or ginger, chopped
2 Tbsps. lemongrass, peeled (the recipe recommends using only the lower 2 inches)
1 Tbsp. cilantro root
1 tsp. white peppercorns, toasted
2 tsps. coriander seeds, toasted
1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon shrimp paste

The Loot


(1) Remove the zest from the lime. Set aside.
(2) Juice the lime. In a small bowl, soak the red chili's in the lime juice for about 30 minutes to soften.
(3) Toast the spices in a hot pan until they become fragrant. About 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.

Toasting the spices

(4) Add the spices to a mortar and pestle to grind. (The first time I made this recipe, I didn't bother grinding the spices. I thought I would just toss them into the food processor along with all the other ingredients. The seeds didn't completely grind down. When I used the curry paste in a recipe, the seeds were bothersome and made me not enjoy my meal).


(5) Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Process the mixture until it reaches a paste like consistency. (At this point you're going to be adding the shrimp paste. I feel I should warn you, IT SMELLS SO BAD. Think of the wost thing you have ever smelled, and times it by 5. I find it difficult to believe that something as smelly as shrimp paste could contribute in any way to a recipe. But it does, so don't worry.)

(6) From here I portion the curry paste out into 1 Tbsp. mounds and freeze them until ready to use. They keep really well in the freezer.

*This recipe yields approximately 6 Tbspfull's of curry paste. Please BEWARE, this curry paste packs some serious heat!

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