Red Curry Paste (krung gaeng deng)

READY IN: 50mins
Recipe by drhousespcatcher

For those who want to make their own Thai red curry paste. This stuff is fantastic and well worth the effort. Finding the ingredients is the challenge, but once you do making it is fairly easy. Adapted from "Hot, sour, salty, sweet"

Top Review by Girl from India

Hey Mean Chef! I use the same recipe (almost - you have scallions+lemon zest too added to the recipe which I will try the next time I make a curry :). But for the less fortunate folks like me who do not get galangal and shrimp sauce I would like to say that I use 3 inch pc of ginger and 1 1/2 tblsp of vinegar respectively instead and red kashmir dried chillies saoked in water. I do think roasting the spices makes a big difference and the method is described perfectly. One more thing I do different is use only the lower stem of the lemon grass. I am going to refer to this recipe in a Thai recipe I am posting today Mean Chef. Thank you. Saved me posting time. :) Fay

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 12 cups dried small red chilies, stemmed,seeded and broken into pieces (about 1 1/2 oz)
  • 1 12 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 18 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon coriander root, coarsley chopped
  • 14 cup galangal, coarsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 14 cup garlic, chopped
  • 14 cup shallot, coarsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 teaspoons shrimp paste


  1. Place chiles in a bowl and cover with hot water.
  2. Keep chiles submerged for 30 minutes or more.
  3. Heat a small heavy skillet over medium high heat and dry roast coriander seeds (about 3 minutes), cumin seed and peppercorns (about 1 minute each).
  4. Use a spice grinder to grind the spices together into a powder.
  5. Mortar and Pestle Method: Place ground spices in mortar, add lemongrass, coriander roots and galangal and pound to a paste.
  6. Add lime zest to blend.
  7. Add garlic, shallots and salt and pound to a smooth paste.
  8. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  9. Drain chiles, place in mortar, and pound to a paste.
  10. When chiles are fairly smooth, add shrimp paste and pound together.
  11. Add reserved spice paste and pound together.
  12. Blender Method: Chop coriander roots,galangal,garlic and shallots fairly fine.
  13. With blender running, add to blender.
  14. Add spices, lemongrass, lime zest, salt and shrimp paste and continue to blend until you have a paste.
  15. It may be necessary to stop and scrape down sides of blender.
  16. Add a bit of chile soaking water if mixture seems very dry.
  17. Drain chiles, reserving liquid.
  18. Add to blender with enough soaking liquid to blend into a thick paste.
  19. Store in refrigerator (should keep a couple of months) or I freeze in an ice cube tray and transfer to a freezer bag when frozen.

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