Contrary to popular belief, Thai green curry is typically the hottest of the three Thai curries (red, yellow, and green) due to its use of fresh chilis. We decided to pile on the spice with our Infused Ghost Chili salt in this herb-filled paste. Fortunately, the best part about creating your own paste is you can control the heat. If you want the fresh flavor of green curry without feeling like a volcano, simply remove the seeds from your peppers or choose a milder variety that works for you. We used serrano peppers, but any fresh chili will work for this easy paste.
We’ve provided instructions for the quick version and the slower method for this paste. Both yield delicious results.
Makes roughly 1 cup of paste
½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon whole peppercorns (or cracked or ground pepper)
3 fresh serrano chilies or jalapenos, stems and seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
¼ cup chopped shallots
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed and roughly chopped
1 inch fresh ginger (can sub 1 tablespoon powder), peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped Thai basil (can sub cilantro)
½ teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon Infused Ghost Chili Salt
1 tablespoon Bee Local Portland Farmland Honey (can sub brown sugar or coconut sugar)
2 teaspoons fish sauce (can sub shrimp paste, soy sauce, or tamari), optional
2 tablespoons neutral oil such as grapeseed, avocado, or a mild olive oil (or water)
If using, place coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast for about five minutes until they become fragrant, stirring often. Keep an eye out as they will burn quickly. Remove from heat and crush with a mortar and pestle until the spices have broken down into a coarse powder. Alternatively, you can place spices in a plastic bag and tap with a rolling pin or use a spice grinder. Skip this step if using powdered spices.
From here, you can continue using a mortar and pestle to combine all ingredients one by one into a smooth paste. If your mortar isn’t large enough, crush each ingredient separately and combine in a mixing bowl.
Begin by adding the chilis to the crushed spices and mash until smooth. Add the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, ginger, basil lime zest and salt, pounding between each addition. Finally, add the lime juice, honey, fish sauce, and oil, and stir to combine.
Or, place crushed spices and all remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms.
For both methods, adjust seasoning to taste and add oil or water by the teaspoon if the paste looks too dry.
Store pastes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or spoon into ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, place the cubes in a freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months. Cubes can be used directly from the freezer when cooking or thaw in the refrigerator the night before use.
How to use:
Use the homemade pastes in any recipe that calls for Thai green curry paste by doubling the recipe amount or adjust amount to personal taste. Start small and add more as needed.
For a simple curry sauce heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan or wok over medium high heat. Add ¼ cup paste and stir until fragrant. Add 1 can coconut milk and ½ cup water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve over stir fried vegetables, meat, or tofu and rice.Adapted from Minimalist Baker