Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, soups, salads, noodles, rice, and pasta. Once you start making your own Curry Paste, you can start adding it to different dishes to add umami and make them extremely delicious. Just saying, red curry paste can be used for much more than Thai Red Curry!
What is Red Curry Paste?
Red curry paste is a staple ingredient in Thai cuisine. It is a blend of various aromatics and spices that give it a distinct flavour. The paste is typically made with red chilli peppers, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, and spices like cumin and coriander. The exact ingredients and proportions can vary depending on the recipe and the region where it is made.
Our version is a vegan version that can be made easily at home, with easy-to-find ingredients.
Thai red curry paste is typically spicier than other types of curry paste such as yellow curry paste, and milder than curry pastes such as green. The level of spiciness can vary depending on the number of chilli peppers used.
Making homemade red curry paste takes a bit longer than store-bought paste, but it allows for greater control over the ingredients and flavours. One way to make sure your red curry paste is vegan is to make it at home, using your own ingredients.
Health Benefits of Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste
Here are some of the health benefits of using Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste in your cooking:
- Rich in Antioxidants: Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste is made with a variety of herbs and spices, including garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and chillies. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Boost Immunity: Many of the herbs and spices used in Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body.
- Aid Digestion: Galangal and lemongrass, two key ingredients in Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste, are known for their digestive benefits. They can help soothe an upset stomach, reduce bloating, and improve digestion.
- Help with Weight Loss: Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste is a low-calorie, low-fat ingredient that can help you feel full and satisfied without adding too many calories to your meals. It's also a great way to add flavor to your dishes without relying on high-calorie sauces and dressings.
- Help Lower Cholesterol: Some studies have shown that the capsaicin in chilies, a key ingredient in Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste, may help lower cholesterol levels in the body.
Our Red Curry Paste is:
- Made from scratch
How to make Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste
Making homemade curry paste does take a bit longer but you won't regret spending a little more time. The flavours you get from it are perfectly balanced and simply delicious.
- Dried bird-eye chillies. You can use larger chillies as well. This is the main ingredient to give the curry paste a red colour. In order to be able to use more chillies without the paste being too spicy, the chillies will need to be deseeded. Using gloves, cut the chillies down the side with scissors, remove the seeds and leave them soaking in water for around 10 minutes. We normally add around 10-15 bird-eyes chillies. The curry comes out spicy but not super spicy. If you prefer milder curries, get larger chillies, as they will normally be less spicy.
- Aromatics. To make our red curry paste we use a few aromatics which include lemongrass stalks, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, fresh garlic, and coriander stems. The part of the lemongrass stalks you need is the bottom part which contains most of the flavor. If you cannot find galangal, feel free to use fresh ginger instead. We normally find frozen galangal and lime leaves in our local Asian supermarket. Traditionally, coriander root is used instead of the stems, but we are unable to get them in Spain.
- Miso paste. We know! Miso paste is Japanese, so why are we using it in Thai curry? Well, we tried different ingredients to substitute the shrimp paste added to make traditional curry paste and after different tries, we found out that miso adds the perfect saltiness and flavour that we were looking for. You can use white or brown miso paste. As an alternative to miso paste, you can use vegetable stock cube.
- Spices. Our spice blend for the red curry paste contains white and black pepper, cumin powder, and coriander powder. Whole spices such as coriander seeds contain a stronger flavour and you can use a spice grinder to grind them before making the curry paste. If you buy them already crushed or powdered like us, the taste of your curry paste will still be totally yummy.
- Sea salt. If you want to keep your paste for a few days or a week in the fridge, it will stay good for longer if you add salt or sea salt.
Optional ingredients and substitutes
You can personalize the red curry paste to your taste, adding different ingredients such as lime juice for tanginess, maple syrup, palm sugar, or coconut sugar for sweetness, soy sauce for saltiness, more red chili peppers for spiciness, thai basil leaves, etc.
As well, if you are missing one or a few ingredients from the list, you can easily substitute for a similar ingredient or skip that ingredient.
- Galangal can be substituted with ginger, ginger powder, or rehydrated dried galangal.
- Shallots can be substituted with white or yellow onions or green onions.
- Miso paste. You can use white or brown miso paste. If you don't have this ingredient you can add some stock cube to add saltiness and flavour.
- Kaffir lime leaves can be substituted with lime zest or lime juice.
- Coriander stems. You can use coriander leaves instead of stems or as traditionally used, the coriander roots.
- Bird's eye Chilis. You can use any type of red chilli you like or have. From milder chillis to spicier chillis, depending on your taste.
To make the Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste, you can use a food processor (make sure you are making a big enough batch, otherwise it won't work), a mortar and pestle or a hand blender.
We use the small food processor of our hand blender, you can find it on Amazon. It works amazingly when making curry paste, pesto, or other dips and sauces.
- Add into the food processor or blender the white and green ingredients: Shallots roughly chopped, lemongrass finely sliced (just the thicker part), garlic cloves, galangal roughly chopped, lime leaves (stem removed), and coriander stems. Blend all these ingredients until you have a consistency that already looks like a paste. Keep pushing the ingredients down with a spatula and blending further if needed.
- Incorporate the chillies and blend until you have a red paste. Make sure the chillies are well blended. This may take a couple of minutes.
- Add the spices, sea salt, and miso paste. Blend one last time until all the ingredients are perfectly blended and you have the right consistency.
- Your homemade paste will be ready to add to your dishes or store it at this point. It can be frozen and it will last for months in the freezer or you can keep it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
- If your paste is too dry, you can add a splash of water or soy sauce.
- If your paste is too moist, you can add some more chillis, spices, or galangal.
Learn how to make your curry pastes with pestle and mortar by checking Hot Thai Kitchen.
Once your Vegan Red Curry Paste is ready, you can start adding it to different dishes to make them umami-rich and extra delicious. Here are some ideas of different meals that you can make using homemade red curry paste:
- Thai Red Curry. A classic dish, delicious vegan Thai Red Curry made with red curry paste. You can make a yummy plant-based Red Curry using this vegan curry paste and load it with veggies such as snow peas, sweet potatoes, baby corn, red pepper, green beans, or broccoli.
- Butternut Squash Curry. This delicious meal includes red curry paste which makes it the best comfort meal to enjoy during those cold days.
- Tom Kha Soup. Have you heard of Tom Kha? This satisfying Thai appetizer can be made with red curry paste.
- Thai Coconut Noodle Soup. If you are craving something hearty, this coconut noodle soup is your perfect choice.
You can keep your homemade Red Curry Paste in the fridge using an airtight container for about a week or in the freezer if you want to store it for longer. We recommend using an ice cube tray to freeze individual portions so you can prepare different meals with the frozen red curry paste on different days.
FAQ and Tips
Are store-bought curry pastes vegan?
Depends. Brands like Aroy-D are vegan but some other brands contain prawn paste. The only way to make sure is by reading the list of ingredients before buying it.
Where can I find Vegan Red Curry Paste?
You should be able to find a vegan Thai curry paste in a local Asian supermarket, in some large supermarkets, or online.
What is the difference between Yellow, Red and Green Thai curries?
All three curries are made with the same basic ingredients such as shallots, galangal, garlic, lemongrass and lime leaves. Red curry is made with red chillies while green curry is made with green chillies. Thai Yellow curry contains curry powder and a smaller amount of red or yellow chillies.
How much curry paste makes this recipe?
The amount of red curry paste you will get from this recipe should be enough for about 6 portions. If you are making a curry for 4 people, you are going to have some leftover curry paste that you can store for another day.
Thai Red Curry Paste (Vegan)
- 10-15 Bird's eye chillis
- 1 tablespoon coriander stems
- 2 lemongrass stalks
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed
- 2 shallots
- 1 tablespoon galangal finely chopped
- 2-3 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 teaspoon miso paste
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Using gloves, cut the chillies down the side with scissors, remove the seeds, finely slice them and leave them soaking while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Add into the food processor or blender the white and green ingredients: Shallots roughly chopped, lemongrass finely sliced (just the thicker part), garlic cloves, galangal roughly chopped, kaffir lime leaves stem removed and finely chopped, and coriander stems. Blend all these ingredients until you have a consistency that already looks like a paste. Keep pushing the ingredients down with a spatula and blending further if needed.
- Add the chillies and blend until you have a red paste. Make sure the chillies are well blended. This may take a couple of minutes.
- Add the spices, sea salt and miso paste. Blend one last time until all the ingredients are perfectly blended and you have the right consistency.
- The paste will be ready to use or to keep in the fridge for later use. You can as well freeze it at this point.
- If your paste is too dry, you can add a splash or water or soy sauce.
- If your paste is too moist, you can add some more chillis, spices, or galangal.
|If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram. We are always happy to see your creations!|