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Red Curry Paste may be substituted.

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If you like Thai food, you’re probably acquainted with red curry paste. This Thai spice is one of the most important in producing the distinct and distinctive taste found in Thai dishes. Red curry paste enhances the taste and presence of your foods. Yet, if you run out of it, be assured that some options may still serve as excellent replacements.

What is Red Curry Paste?

Thai red curry paste is created using Thai chilies and other flavorful spices. Whilst they may differ based on the manufacturer’s location of Thailand, several components remain consistent. Onions, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallot, shrimp paste, fish sauce, coriander, paprika, cumin, and lime peels or rind are typical spices and herbs. A neutral-tasting oil is also added, and ganangal may be used in place of ginger. In addition, makrood lime leaves, citric acid, and salt to taste are sometimes used.

Red Curry Paste in Recipes

Thai red curry paste is a very potent substance. It has a complex flavor that settles at a balance between sweet and savory since it is prepared from a blend of chiles, herbs, and spices. Red curry paste is somewhat fiery due to the chili component, yet it nevertheless adds significantly to the rich flavor of many dishes.

Red curry paste is a classic Thai ingredient, but it may also be used in a variety of other cuisines. It is suitable for both sweet and savory recipes and may be added to both liquid and solid foods. Its utility may be seen in a variety of foods, including, but not limited to;

  • Curries
  • Sauces
  • Marinades
  • Noodles
  • Soups
  • Dishes for stir-frying
  • Recipes for chicken
  • Dishes with seafood
  • Recipes for fish
  • Cakes made with fish
  • Recipes for meat
  • Dishes with vegetables

Red Curry Paste Substitutes

If you run out of red curry paste or are concerned that any of its constituents are not suitable for your diet, you may replace any of these choices. Each component in this meal is full of diverse tastes and will give the dish almost the same intensity as red curry paste. Of course, understanding how to exchange one for the other is crucial, but in the end, you may not even notice its absence in the first place.

Homemade Red Curry Paste

The simplest and most practical method to replace red curry paste in any recipe is to produce your own batch in your own kitchen. Despite various brands use varying mixes of substances, the basic constituents are typically the same. And the best news is, you may already have them in your kitchen, allowing you to make a fast batch of red curry paste whenever you need it.

6 big dried, rinsed, and deseeded Thai chili peppers, 3 stalks lemongrass, 1 thumb-sized ginger, 4 garlic cloves peeled, 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, and 1 tablespoon shrimp paste are all needed for a simple homemade red curry paste. Mix them in a food processor or blender on high speed until they are pureed. If you don’t have lemongrass, you may use the zest of a fresh lemon instead. If you’re following a vegan diet, substitute the shrimp paste with soy sauce. You can also enhance the taste by adding a teaspoon of coriander, paprika, and caraway seeds. Season with salt to taste.

Curry Powder

If making a fresh batch of red curry paste isn’t an option, you may use curry powder. Yet, although the flavor may be different, it nevertheless adds a lot to the dish’s flavor and presence. Curry powder has a stronger taste than red curry paste since it is dry. As a result, 1 teaspoon curry powder may be substituted for 1 tablespoon red curry paste. If you’re concerned that this substitution may overpower the final flavor of the dish, start small and work your way up until you obtain the desired taste.

Thai Curry Pastes

Red curry paste is not the only variety often used in Thai cooking. If you have green Thai curry paste on hand, you may substitute it for the red if your recipe calls for it. Nevertheless, since green curry paste is spicier and has a different flavor than red curry paste, use less than the recipe asks for. In lieu of red curry paste, you may use yellow curry paste, Massaman, or laksa. Note that their flavor profiles vary, much as green curry paste, so use less than the recipe calls for. Even if you don’t obtain the precise taste profile you’re looking for, you’ll still receive a deep and rich flavor with links to Thai food.

Indian Curry Paste

Sometimes the only thing that comes close to red curry paste is some kind of Indian curry paste. If that’s the case, you may use it as a stand-in. Indian curry paste has a similar taste complexity, but it is spicier, so use sparingly. Common replacements for Red curry paste include Madras, Vindaloo, and even Korma, although they must be added in little amounts until the right flavor is achieved.

Hot Curry Sauce

The spicy curry sauce is a popular South African ingredient. This sauce is well-known for enhancing the spiciness and taste of soups, marinades, stews, and sauces. Hot curry sauce may be used in place of red curry paste in such recipes, so if that’s all you have on hand, go ahead and use it. Nevertheless, since hot curry sauce is hotter, use less of it—about a teaspoon for each tablespoon of red curry paste.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the difference between curry powder and curry paste?

The primary distinction between curry powder and curry paste is their condition. Although curry powder is dry and must be mixed with oil or water, curry paste is thick and flavorful and must be diluted in the recipe.

Is red chili paste the same as red curry paste?

No, it does not. Red curry paste comprises chile and paprika, as well as a variety of herbs and spices such as lemongrass, turmeric, onion, and even shallot. Red chili paste, on the other hand, is produced solely from red chili peppers and occasionally garlic.

How do you make red curry paste less spicy?

If you want merely the taste of red curry paste without the spiciness, use these tricks to lessen it. If the food is a soup or sauce, a little coconut milk or cream might be added. Lemon, lime, or vinegar, as well as yogurt and sour cream, would also work. If you prefer to keep it simple, a splash of ketchup might assist to temper the heat of the red curry paste.


There’s no need to panic if you run out of red curry paste for your Thai dishes. You may still give your food a rich and robust taste with any of these replacements. Moreover, each one guarantees a unique flavor experience, so you may seldom notice the lack of red curry paste in the meal.


What can you use instead of Thai red curry paste?

Malaysian curry pastes including yellow curry, laksa, and Massaman work well as alternatives as well. Madras, korma, and vindaloo curry pastes from India may also be utilized. Just keep an eye on the intensity. Begin with less than the recipe asks for, then taste and adjust as necessary. Additional Thai

What is red curry paste made of?

Red curry paste is a tasty and adaptable basis for a number of Thai meals. It is made up of red chili peppers, garlic, sea salt, lemongrass, turmeric, and shrimp paste in its most basic form (source).

What can I use instead of tomato paste red curry paste?

Pumpkin puree is rich, smooth, and healthy, and it works best when substituted for tomato paste in a curry sauce or any other dish that requires thickening. For every tablespoon of tomato paste, add one spoonful of pumpkin puree.

Can I use curry powder instead of curry paste?

Curry paste contains entire chili peppers, but curry powder often does not, making the heat level in curry paste more powerful than that of curry powder. Curry paste is neither a replacement for curry powder, nor is it the other way around.

What does Thai red curry paste taste like?

Curry in red. This curry is mildly spicy and one of the most adaptable. Red curry is cooked using a variety of red chilies, giving it a powerful and spicy taste. Coriander, cumin, red bell pepper, red chile, lemongrass, and ginger are among the spices used in the curry foundation.

What is the difference between curry and red curry paste?

What is the difference between curry paste and curry powder?

Curry paste is a liquid condiment produced from fresh chillies. For cooking, it must be dissolved into a liquid. Curry powder is a dry ingredient that requires the addition of a liquid or oil to activate it.

Is red curry paste very spicy?

Red curry paste, the spiciest choice, is rich and spicy. Green curry paste is sometimes regarded as the most popular of the three because to its mild, balanced taste that is both rich and herbaceous. Yellow curry paste is hearty and somewhat sweet, and the spiciness varies based on the chilies used.

Is red curry paste the same as garam masala?

What Is the Different Between Garam Masala and Curry Powder? Garam masala and curry powder are both used to flavor and color foods. One of the most noticeable distinctions is that garam masala does not include tumeric, which is one of the key components in curry powder and gives foods a yellow tint.

Is Thai red curry paste very hot?

Thai yellow curry is the mildest, Thai red curry is medium-hot, and Thai green curry is spicy, however this might vary depending on where you are in Thailand.

Can I use tomato sauce instead of paste for curry?

If you run out of tomato paste, don’t panic; tomato sauce and tomato puree are both good substitutes. Use 3 tablespoons tomato puree or sauce for every 1 tablespoon of tomato paste required.

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