Thai Green Curry Paste

Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

Preparing Your Mise en Place

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.

  • 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

Step 2: Making the Green Curry Paste

Making the Green Curry Paste

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.

The paste can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for a few months.

  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt


This paste will keep in the refrigerator for a few days; however, it will oxidize and change color, but the flavor won’t be affected. To maintain its color, it can be frozen for a few months.

Vegetarian Version:

To make this paste vegetarian, simply substitute the shrimp paste with vegetarian fish sauce or soy sauce.

Umaporn S

No Tumaric needed for green curry paste!

Nowadays, Thai people do make more curry paste in food processor. I am Thai and a mom with little kid and I make my own curry paste often with the machine.

Just put coconut milk (use right away) or vegetable oil (used later)as your liquid to help blend and quicker.

I love that the video show the world the true Thai way to make the paste. However, I truely believed that there is no tumaric needed for the paste.

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Thai Curry Paste in a Blender - Great Idea!

Have to admit that we too have used a food processor to make batches of this and other curry pastes. It is much easier and still yields great flavor.

Turmeric has little flavor and typically it is only used for color; however, we learned to make this paste during our culinary classes in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I imagine there are many slight variations of the recipe depending where you are from.

Umaporn S

Tumaric is more use for southern recipe.

Hey Joe,

^___^ I did went and check many of my cookbooks from famous Thai chef and none of them use Turmeric in the green curry paste. So, it is kind of sad for me to know that the famous Chaing Mai cookery school is teaching their own version of green curry paste.

Green curry is originally from the central part of Thailand and they often not use turmeric as their ingredient. Turmeric is more common for the Southern recipe as it help decrease the fishy small from seafood.

Thai foods is my passion and I believed that it is very important to teach people authentic recipes in certain thing like curry paste. Then, It is up to them what to do with the recipe. Cook it the way they like it. Put more ingredients in make it their way they will enjoy. There is no end in cooking but certain things like making curry paste is crucial.

The name green curry already said enough what color accent you need in the dish. Turmeric give yellow color and the using amount in the recipe will not make that much effort among other ingredient anyway. :-)

If you want to appreciate Turmeric flavor, try recipe from the South likes KAI TOM KAMIN or chicken soup with turmaric or PLA TOD KAMIN or fried fish with turmeric.

Rouxbe is a great website and I really am happy to join you guys and learn. I only wanna share what I know as a Thai and say that please don't trust one source for your recipe.

Have a fun day!!!


Ben R

with or without tumaric

i support the notion that no tumaric is needed here, but thats not why i went to the comment page.
i just wanted to say thank you to the rouxbe(though still i have no idea how to pronounce it...)staf, it is truly amazing what you guys are doing here.
as a cook i often turn to the internet for help and inspiration, and rarely have i found anything even close to professional, besides looking at grandmoms on youtube for authentic teachers. that is untill i ound you guys.
great job, and Dawn...i love you

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: With or Without Tumaric

Oh sweet you are. Thank you so much. Cheers!

p.s. Rouxbe is pronounced Roo-bee. "Roux" (the classic flour and butter binder) and "be" because we wanted them together to sound like a name as we wanted Rouxbe to have a personality so it wasn't so stuffy :-)

Ben R

re:re: With or without tumeric

Thanks for takingthe time to explain :)
Though i understand and speak a little, i find the French language to you said it, a bit stuffy.
up untill now i simply told everyone i know to go to rawxbe, but so far they all got to this site safely, and with that, not so many people ask me to cook for them any more

Aarti R

Galangal storage

I stored the left over galangal in the in a freezer ziploc bag. It turned out very soft on thawing. What is a good way of storing galangal? Thanks

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Galangal Storage

It is fine to freeze fresh galangal. Due to the water content, the texture will change when thawed, but, it can still be used with great results. Cheers!

Theresa B

Red Curry Paste?

Can this same paste recipe easily be converted to a red thai chili paste? (or can you recommend an alternate recipe)

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Red Curry Paste

We do have a recipe on Rouxbe for Panang paste that uses red chilies. Cheers!

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