This Thai green curry paste is fragrant, punchy and aromatic.
I taught this recipe as part of a vegan cookery workshop I held recently, and it stood up proudly against the judgements of a man who hates coriander, a lady allergic to onion and garlic, and a vehement opponent of chilli. (Can you tell who I’ve cast in the villain’s role there?) This is testament to how versatile and adaptable this recipe is – in class, we made a few different versions to suit every need and taste, so take this recipe with a pinch of salt (or a tablespoon of soy sauce).
- 40g fresh coriander
- 3 green chillis
- 2 stems lemongrass
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 small shallots (or 2 large)
- 1 lime – zest and juice
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 50g ginger root
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for GF)
Thai basil is a fantastic addition to this recipe, but often seems as sparse in my local Sainsburys* as water is in the Sahara. If you can find some, add about 20g.
(*other disappointing supermarket chains are available)
If you can’t find lemongrass, lemongrass paste will do and is more readily available. Add about 3 teaspoons of paste in place of the 2 stems of lemongrass.
Here is the quick, overview method (for those of you who read synopses instead of reading books):
Dry fry and grind your spices; zest and juice your lime; roughly chop your remaining ingredients. Add them all to a food processor and blitz until combined into a paste.
Here is the longer winded, more detailed method (for those of you who have read more than one book by Charles Dickens outside of education):
- Prepare your ginger by peeling with a teaspoon and roughly dicing. Prepare your onion and garlic by peeling and roughly dicing.
- Prepare your chilli by removing the ends and roughly dicing – I keep the seeds in this recipe for an extra kick, but if you prefer it mild, de-seed your chillies, and if you like it hotter, choose a spicier chilli.
- Prepare your lemongrass by cutting off both ends, removing the wood-y outer layers, whacking it with the flat edge of your knife to release its oils and your tension, and then roughly dicing.
- Dry fry spices by adding them to a dry frying pan (fancy that). Toss over a medium heat for a few minutes, until they become aromatic. Make sure they don’t burn. When the spices are smelling good, pop them into a mortar and grind them up. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, buying ground spices is fine, but this method will have your kitchen spelling divine and lends a real depth of flavour to your paste.
- Rinse your fresh herbs and roughly chop. For coriander, using the stems is fine – just remove any discoloured ends.
- Zest and juice your lime
- Add all of your prepared ingredients into a food processor along with a tablespoon of soy or tamari sauce and blitz until combined. You might need to scrape down the sides every now and again. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a pestle and mortar.
Note: if you are avoiding onion and garlic, add in 1-2 tablespoons of oil in their place.
This recipe makes 10-12 tablespoons of paste. You can store this in the fridge in a little jar for about 5 days.
If you’re not ready to use an entire jar of curry paste in a work week (why not? why? do you hate flavour?) you can freeze it for up to 6 months. Freeze in individual portion sizes so its easy to get your hands on when you want it (e.g divide the paste into tablespoon size portions before freezing).
What to make
There are plenty of delicious ways to use your Thai green curry paste. Here are a few ideas:
- Thai green curry (they simply don’t make geniuses like me anymore) – you’ll want about 2 tablespoons per portion of curry.
- A base for any other stew, curry or soup you fancy
- Salad dressing – just dilute with some oil
- A marinade for tofu
- Use as a flavouring to stir fry veggies in
- Stir into noodles – this is my absolute favourite, it’s like a Thai-flavoured pesto!
Go the way of my class and play around with this recipe so it is truly your Thai green curry paste soulmate, or follow along to a T. Whatever you do, share your food-y pictures with me – I always love to see them!
One final note:
In these pictures I am using flat leaf parsley rather than coriander as I was cooking for someone whose genes have convinced her coriander tastes like soap. I’m personally tempted to nibble every soap sample I come across in Lush, so I’m not sure what the problem is, but to each their own – any budding botanists can rest easy knowing they’re right, that’s not coriander.