Authentic Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Thai Yellow Curry
D.Schmidt
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Makes Curry for 4 People
Ratings (32)

This is true Thai yellow curry paste made the authentic way, and you'll taste the difference. Use it right away, or store in the refrigerator or freezer to use anytime. This recipe also includes how to use the paste to make a delicious Thai curry. 

Yellow curry paste is so versatile, you'll want to try it with a variety of meat, seafood, vegetable, noodle and even soup recipes. This fragrant yellow curry paste makes Thai food easy to cook, and quick as well, especially if you make the paste ahead of time. It's also super-healthy—you can tell by the deep yellow color of the turmeric, an amazing antioxidant and cancer fighter.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 to 1 stalk lemongrass (minced)
  • 1 to 2 yellow chilies (sliced)
  • 2 shallots (sliced)
  • 1 thumb-size piece of galangal (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large pinch white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 3 to 5 ounces coconut milk

How to Make It

  1. Place all ingredients in your food processor or blender. Add more coconut milk as needed to blend ingredients to a smooth paste or sauce.
  2. Process well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (or longer).

Ingredient Substitutions

  • If you can't find fresh lemongrass, use two to three tablespoons of frozen prepared lemongrass. 
  • You can use red chilis instead of yellow, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried crushed chili.
  • 1/3 cup chopped cooking onion can be used in place of the shallots.
  • Ginger works as well as galangal.
  • If you don't have shrimp paste, use an additional tablespoon of fish sauce.
  • Black pepper may be used instead of white.

How To Use the Paste to Make Curry

  1. Place paste/sauce in a wok with some vegetable oil. Stir-fry until fragrant (about 1 minute), then add 1 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus your ingredients—chicken & potatoes or other meats, seafood, tofu, wheat gluten, and/or vegetables. Add a little more coconut milk for more sauce, reserving a little for the end.
  2. Always taste test for salt and sourness/sweetness after curry is done cooking adding more fish sauce or salt if not salty enough, and more sugar if too sour. If too salty, add a little more lime juice. Add more coconut milk for a creamier, richer sauce.
  3. Before serving, top with fresh coriander or basil.