Thai Green Curry Paste

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    1 cup

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Green curry paste is made in the same way as red curry paste—preliminary grinding in a food processor, final grinding with a mortar and pestle—but some of the ingredients and their proportions are different. Most important, green curry is made with fresh green chiles (usually serranos) rather than dried red ones. The proportion of chiles is also higher, so green curry is even hotter than red.


coriander seeds 1 tbsp 15 ml
white peppercorns 1 tsp 5 ml
lemongrass, outer sheath removed and discarded 3 stalks 3 stalks
green serrano chiles, seeded, coarsely chopped 12 12
zest of 1 lime, coarsely chopped or makrut lime leaf, coarsely chopped or 1 or 1
shallots, coarsely chopped 6 medium 6 medium
garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 6 6
cilantro roots or cilantro stems, coarsely chopped 5 or about 2 heaping tbsp 5 or 40 ml
peeled galangal, sliced ¼-inch (5 mm) thick 4 slices 4 slices
gently packed cilantro leaves 1 cup 250 ml
shrimp paste (optional) 1 tbsp 15 ml


  1. Put the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a food processor and grind to a powder, about 1 minute.
  2. Thinly slice 3 inches (8 cm) of the tender ends of the lemongrass and add to the processor bowl. Discard the rest of the lemongrass stalks.
  3. Put the remaining ingredients in the food processor and purée for about 10 minutes, scraping the inside of the bowl with a rubber spatula every minute.
  4. Transfer the paste to a mortar—don’t fill it more than one-third full; work in batches if necessary—and grind to a smooth paste; this will take about 20 minutes (see note).