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Thai Green Curry Paste

Posted by Monita Sun on

Thai Green Curry Paste

Thai Green Curry Paste

Servings: 1 tbs  ☻  Prep Time: 5 minutes  ☻  Cook Time: 10 minutes

If you thought making curry paste is very hard and complex, this recipe is for you. It’s super simple and easy, and only takes you maximum 30 minutes.

Like Thai red curry, the traditional Thai green curry paste is also naturally gluten-free. And it can be vegetarian (see notes*****), too. Green curry is generally a little more spicy and less creamy. 

 There are two methods to make the paste. I highly recommend you to try to use a mortar and pestle to make the paste by yourself at least one time. It’s a little tiring but so much fun, especially if you want to cook with your kids together. This will be a great family recipe to cook together. With pounding through all the ingredients, you will smell all the favors from different ingredients, and feel the beauty of fresh food with your family together. 

Give this recipe a try and let me know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it @happytummyasia on Instagram or Facebook! I’d love to see what you come up with. Happy cooking!



  • 5 pieces green bird’s eye chilies (Note 1) 

  • 1 big green chilies (not spicy) (Note 2)

  • 1 fresh coriander root (Note. 3)

  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh kaffir lime zest***

  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh galangal, sliced***

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, sliced***

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced (around1/4 cup)

  • 3 small shallot, sliced (around 1/4 cup)****

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (If you are using pink Himalayan salt, add only 1/4 teaspoon)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder

  • 10 sweet basil leaves


Tools needed: 

  • Mortar and pestle or food processor



1. Bird’s eye chilies are much smaller and spicer than regular fresh Thai chilies. But you can use Thai green chilies if you can’t get bird’s eye chilies. 

2. Green chilies: you can use Cubanelle chili peppers (sometimes, it is spicy. ) or banana peppers or Anaheim chili peppers. The purpose of having green chilies is to add green colors into the paste. But if you prefer more spicy paste, you could choose any spicy green colored chilies.  

3. Coriander (cilantro) root, kaffir lime, galangal, and lemongrass are not very easy to find fresh either. If you are close to any Chinatowns in NYC or LA or other cities, you may find them there. If you couldn’t find cilantro root near you, use cilantro stems instead, it will bring out most of the flavors that we are looking for here. 

4. The regular shallot that we can find is much bigger than Thai shallot. Thai shallot is very small but very strong.  You can get them in Chinese grocery stores. If it’s very hard for you to find, the regular shallot will work fine.

5. How to keep the paste: Salt has been the natural way to preserve food for thousands of years. You can add some extra salt to preserve the paste longer if you like. Put the paste in an airtight container. It can be kept in the refrigerator for two weeks and a month in a freezer.



Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Prepare your ingredients!  It's best to lay out everything in advance so you have a sense of exactly everything going into the paste.

Thai Green Curry Paste - Step 1



Step 2a - The Traditional Method

The traditional way of making curry paste is to use a mortar and pestle to pound all the ingredients together until they become a smooth paste. If you have a mortar, go and start to pound. It will take a while to smooth out. And if the paste looks a little bit chunky, don’t worry! – that’s the authentic look!

Thai Green Curry Paste - Traditional Method



Step 2b - Alternative Method

If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, or would like to save some time, use a food processor instead.  Put all the ingredients into the processor, and continue to process until the paste is smooth.

Thai Green Curry Paste - Alternative Method



Step 3

Your curry paste is good to go - enjoy it in a variety of dishes! 

Thai Green Curry Paste - Final Step

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