Thai Green Chicken Curry was one of the first dishes I ever ate in a Thai restaurant. From the first mouthful of fragrant, spicy, creamy goodness I was hooked.
Curry pastes are one of the few ingredients I’m happy to buy commercially because I find they taste amazing and save me stocking weird (and stinky!) ingredients like shrimp paste.
If you don’t have access to good Thai ingredients, you can either order online or try my favourite Thai Green Curry Paste Substitutes…
What is Thai Green Curry Paste?
It’s a puree of green chilli peppers and other aromatic ingredients that is used as the flavour base for Thai curries.
Ingredients can include shallot, onion, lemon grass, neutral flavoured oil, ginger or galangal, garlic, shrimp paste, fish sauce, coriander seed and kaffir lime peel.
The Best Thai Green Curry Paste Substitutes
1. Curry Powder
The flavour profile will be quite different, but if I’m in the mood for curry and I don’t have access to a good curry paste, a few teaspoons of curry powder can usually do the trick.
As a general rule of thumb substitute 1 teaspoon curry powder for 1 tablespoon curry paste.
If you prefer milder curries, start with less and add to taste. It’s easy to add more but difficult to fix a curry that’s too hot!
2. Other Curry Pastes
Thai red and green curry pastes can be used interchangeably. The flavour profile and intensity will be different but not necessarily in a bad way.
Other Thai / Malaysian curry pastes such as, yellow curry, laksa or Massaman also work well as substitutes.
Indian curry pastes including madras, korma and vindaloo can also be used. Just watch out as the intensity. Start with less than the recipe calls for and taste and add as needed.
3. Home Made Thai Green Curry Paste
By far the closest and best substitute is to make your own. It only takes a few minutes and apart from the lemongrass (which you can substitute with lemon zest) the ingredients are easy to find.
How to Make Thai Green Curry Paste
makes 4 to 5 tablespoons
takes 5 minutes
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves & stems
1 small onion
6 large green chillies, deseeded
3 stalks lemon grass, sliced OR zest of 1 lemon
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons neutral flavoured oil
1. Puree the spice paste ingredients with 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until you have a chunky puree.
2. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container / jar for weeks or can be frozen.
Favourite Thai Curry Paste Recipes
- Sweet Potato & Red Curry Soup
- 10-Minute Massaman Curry
- Green Curry of Broccoli Soup
- Green Curry Stir Fry
Delicious Green Curry Paste Flavour Pairings
- Chicken & Green Curry
- Broccoli & Green Curry
- Peanut & Green Curry (especially peanut butter)
- Coconut & Green Curry (especially coconut milk / coconut cream)
- Basil & Green Curry (especially Thai basil)
- Fish / Seafood & Green Curry
- Green Peas & Green Curry
- Spinach& Green Curry
More Ingredient Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!
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