To make the green curry paste, first prepare your mise en place. Finely mince the lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallots, coriander root and the chilies.
Peel and mince the turmeric. Keep in mind that it will stain your cutting board, hands, and anything it comes into contact with. Gather the kaffir lime, shrimp paste and Thai basil and set aside.
In a small fry pan, toast the coriander and cumin seeds until they release their aroma and start to brown slightly.
To make the paste, use a mortar and pestle. Grind the spices, peppercorns and salt into a fine powder.
Next, add the lemongrass and pound until you reach a smooth paste, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the galangal, followed by the turmeric, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the garlic, cilantro stems, chilies and shallots.
Zest and add the kaffir lime, followed by the shrimp paste. Finely chop the basil and add it to the mortar and pestle, pounding everything into a smooth paste. Set the paste aside while you prepare the rest of your mise en place.
- 3 tbsp lemongrass
- 1 tsp galangal
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 2 tbsp shallots
- 2 tbsp coriander root (can substitute with cilantro stems)
- 5 hot, Thai green chilies
- 5 long green chilies
- 1 tsp fresh turmeric (can substitute with 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 kaffir lime
- 3/4 tsp shrimp paste
- 1 cup Thai sweet basil
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp kosher salt