It takes just 3 minutes to make this fresh, vibrant, bursting-with-flavor Thai green curry paste recipe. Yes, you can use a store-bought paste, but this homemade vegetarian version is so worth the extra small effort. You can use it in a ton of recipes and it freezes well.
I learned to make this recipe in a cooking class with Chef Leanne Rabinowitz at Maplehern Cooking School in Toronto. When I tasted our end product, I was hooked. I’ve been using it ever since. We made a Thai Green Vegetable Curry that day and since then I’ve made many successful variations.
Why you should make your own curry paste
Don’t get me wrong, I use store bought green curry paste too, but when I want to add that extra zing, I make the green curry paste from scratch. It only takes a few minutes (not counting buying all the ingredients). Here’s what you get with a homemade version:
- super fresh and vibrant flavors
- balance of flavors the way you like them as you can vary the ingredients according to your taste.
- control over the amount of heat
- vegetarian/vegan-friendly with this plant-based green curry paste
Good to Know – FAQ
No. This green curry paste recipe is a vegan version. An authentic version would include shrimp paste or dried shrimp. Some use fish sauce. But no worries – it will still make a delicious Thai curry.
Green curry paste uses green chilis (and cilantro and basil) and red curry paste uses red chilis (and sometimes tomato paste as well for added color and flavor). Typically, red curry paste is hotter, but the spiciness of all curry pastes can be modified to your taste.
In a nutshell, saute some curry paste with oil (this recipe already has oil in it so no need to add more), then add coconut milk and vegetables. Cook until tender. Shrimp can be added in the last 3-4 minutes.
Add green curry paste to curries, soups, stir fries, cauliflower rice, scrambled eggs, guacamole and salad dressings. Scroll the recipes below for ideas.
Scroll these recipes made with green curry paste
- Make a double or triple batch and freeze what you don’t need. This is useful since you’ll likely have leftover ingredients. You can’t buy 4 kaffir leaves for example.
- Be careful when removing the seeds for chili peppers. Wash your hands well and don’t touch your face or eyes!
Tailor To Your Taste
The best way to get the blend of flavors you prefer is to start with less of an ingredient and keep testing and adding until you’re happy. Remember, though, the paste is always paired with other things like coconut milk which will mellow the flavors and heat considerably.
- Store the green curry paste in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7-10 days.
- Freeze in zipper lock bags or in smaller portions in ice cube trays for a month.
How to make this Thai green curry paste recipe
Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe (vegetarian)
- food processor or blender
- 1 green chili – cored, seeds removed, Note 1 (e.g. jalapeno or serrano),
- 4 green onions, chopped in 3-4 pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger (1 inch/2.5cm diameter), peeled, roughly chopped Note 2
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cup (16g) cilantro or parsley leaves, loosely packed
- 1 cup (16g) basil leaves, loosely packed
- 1 -2 limes, juice and zest (start with 1, then add as needed)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or white sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- MAKE GREEN CURRY PASTE: Put all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add a touch more oil if too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (more salt, sugar, lime, etc). This recipe makes a curry recipe for about 8 people using 1 can of coconut milk.
- Caution about working with green chilis – be very careful when cutting and seeding chilis. Wash your hands well afterward and don’t touch your eyes.
- Ginger measurements: 1 inch (2/5cm) fresh ginger root yield approximately 1 tbsp grated ginger (or 0.25 ounces).
- Make ahead/store/freeze: Store in a sealed container or ziploc bags in fridge for up to 7-10 days. Or freeze in ice cube trays or ziploc freezer bags for up to a month (even 2 months should be fine).