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🌶 Basic Vegan Thai red curry paste recipe

Nam prik kaeng kua – พริกแกงคั่ว – is the foundation of all other red curry pastes cooked in coconut cream. For instance the ingredients used in this recipe will also be present in a kaeng phet curry paste as well as in panang curry paste. Nam prik kaeng phet is effectively nam prik kaeng kua with added spices, where the former has stronger Indian and Arab influences. Kua curries tend to be more vegetable focussed and include use in dishes like pineapple curry and kaeng tae po (sweet and sour morning glory curry)
Cuisine: Thai


  • Pestle and mortar


  • 8 dried long red chillies
  • 2 dried bird’s eye chillies
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons chopped galangal
  • 1 teaspoon kaffir lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon chopped coriander root 3 grams
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped shallot
  • 1 ½ teaspoons shrimp paste or Korean doenjang


  • Slice the long dried chilies lengthways and remove the seeds. Cut into chunks and soak in warm water until soft.
  • Pound the soaked chilies, dried bird's eye chilies, and salt using a pestle and mortar until smooth. Add lemongrass and pound into a uniform smooth paste. Continue pounding each ingredient, one at a time, until smooth.
  • Use immediately or store for up to a few weeks in the fridge (or you can freeze it for longer).