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Homemade Red Thai Curry Paste

Red Thai Curry Paste is the base for a whole host of delicious quick and easy curry recipes, it takes 20 minutes and can be frozen.

Aside from toasting the spices, there is no cooking required in this simple recipe!

Homemade easy Red Thai curry paste presented in a bowl.

Homemade Thai Curry Paste

While it may initially seem intimidating, making your own Thai curry paste at home is not that difficult.

In fact, it is simply a matter of going shopping as none of the preparation work requires “skill”.

My version of this classic Thai paste has been Westernised to an extent and I also add cumin and coriander seeds which often feature in some curry pastes.

I have added ginger rather than Glanangal which was difficult to find for years. It is now much more readily available however I’ve gotten so used to the ginger version I stick with it.

Preparing this pasta which will make 6 or 7 curries for 2 people, takes around 20 minutes. Most of that time is waiting for the dried chillies to soak giving you plenty of time to get the rest of your prep done.

It joins both a homemade Thai green curry paste and a wonderful massaman curry paste on my site!

Thai red duck curry with pineapple, rice and Thai basil.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will this store?

This Thai red curry paste will last comfortably in the fridge for a week. If you place it in a jar and cover it with oil it will last for a couple of weeks.

However, this makes enough paste to make 6 or 7 curries for 2 people. As a result of this unless you are on a Thai curry fest then I recommend freezing this in portions.

How do I freeze curry paste?

I find that “jumbo” ice cube trays hold a perfect 50-gram (3 Tablespoon) portions, I spoon it in and then cover it with film and freeze it. But you can use smaller ice cube trays that hold 1 tablespoon.

When frozen solid I place it in a freezer bag and grab one anytime I fancy a curry.

How do I use frozen curry paste?

If using from frozen rather than frying it over a high heat place in a pan over a medium-low heat until defrosted.

Then turn up the heat and fry and use as any recipe specifies.

Can I make this vegan/vegetarian?

Yes, you can omit the shrimp paste and turn it into a vegan curry paste, it will change the flavour but it is still delicious.

Obviously, you will also need to omit any fish sauce in any curries you make using it too!

Overhead Thai red prawn curry with green beans served with rice.

Serving Suggestions

Naturally, this red Thai curry paste gets used in a host of curry recipes. I have more than a few for you to try out!

They are a diverse bunch too, I have everything from Thai red duck curry to Thai red prawn curry, both pictured above to Thai red beef curry, Thai salmon curry and Thai red curry mussels.

I also use it in my Thai red curry chicken noodle soup, chicken and prawn soup and Thai red curry vegetable soup.

Don’t get tunnel-visioned though, you can use curry pastes in loads of different ways.

It is borderline genius stirred through scrambled eggs to give your breakfast a bit of a spicy vibe!

Likewise, it is superb stirred through baked beans or at giving a boost to a lacklustre can of soup.

You can even fry some and then mash it through some butter and then use that butter for anything from baked potatoes to basting a steak.

Overhead red Thai salmon curry with green beans and jasmine rice.

Equipment Used

I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section of the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Small frying pan.
  • Mini blender or mortar and pestle, I personally use both because I find it easier.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring spoons.
  • Kettle for boiling water to soak the dried chillies.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
Homemade Red Thai curry paste presented in a bowl.
Yield: 300-350 Grams

Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

A Thai Red Curry Paste is an essential ingredient in a Thai red curry and many more of my recipes.


  • 10 Dried Red Chilli Peppers
  • 5 Red Birds Eye Chilli Peppers
  • 1½ Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • ½ Tbsp Pepper Corns
  • 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 35g (Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 2 Sticks Lemongrass
  • 10 Cloves Garlic
  • 150g (4-5) Shallots
  • 1 Lime (zest only)
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Shrimp Paste
  • ½ Tbsp Salt


  1. Soak the dried chillis in cold water for 15 minutes.
  2. Toast the seeds and pepper off in a dry pan for about 1 minute and then grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
  3. Peel and roughly chop your ginger.
  4. Remove the outer leaves and coarsely chop your lemongrass.
  5. Peel your garlic.
  6. Remove the tops of the chilis.
  7. Add all of the ingredients including the spice mix to a blender then blitz into a paste.
  8. Finally, if possible, transfer to a pestle and mortar and pound, this helps break down some of the ingredients rather than chopping them.


The calorific value of this recipe relates to the full amount of the paste.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 702Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 9448mgCarbohydrates: 159gFiber: 23gSugar: 45gProtein: 26g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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