Possibly the Best Homemade Red Thai Curry – You Will Never Buy a Paste Again!

I have never been to Thailand but I absolutely love their food! It’s aromatic, spicy and always tastes so fresh and zingy. I went out and bought quite an exotic Thai cook book from a charity shop, the sort that is so traditionally Thai you have never heard of any of the ingredients that are in it, but I thought I would give it a go. I chose this red Thai curry recipe as it appeared reasonably simple and just had the one item that I needed to get from an oriental supermarket, which was shrimp paste. Now I don’t know if you have come across this before but it is vile! I nearly gagged when I smelt it; it just stank like the bins from outside our local Thai restaurant on a hot day. But this restaurant does do great tasting food, so I gave the shrimp paste a chance, and I have to say it made the dish! I have since made a couple of tweaks to the original and I have to say this is now one of my all-time favourite recipes. I feel a little bit like I am giving away one of my trade secrets here, so I hope you love it as much as I do.

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For the paste;

–          ½ red onion – finely chopped

–          1 stalk of lemon grass

–          1-2 red chillis (picked to taste) – finely chopped

–          2 garlic cloves, minced

–          Thumb size piece of ginger, minced

–          1tbsp tomato ketchup

–          ¼ tsp cumin

–          1 tsp coriander

–          3 desert spoons of fish sauce

–          1/3 tsp shrimp paste

–          1tsp soft dark brown sugar

–          1tsp chilli powder

–          1 pinch chilli flakes

–          ½ teaspoon cinnamon

–          Juice of half a lime

Blend all the above ingredients together to make a paste

–          1 onion – sliced

–          1 green pepper – finely sliced

–          1 large sweet potato (I boil mine for 7 mins to soften slightly first)

–          275g of white fish

–          400g tin coconut milk

Fry the onion until soft

Add the green pepper and sweet potato for a few minutes

Add the curry paste and mix into all the veg.

Turn down the temperature of the pan to a medium/low and add the coconut milk.

Give everything a good stir together

Once the coconut milk starts to steam, add the fish.

Cook the fish through for 7-10 minutes and serve with rice or noodles, or even as a soup on its own.

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111 comments

  1. Tara said on October 28, 2012 Reply

    Have you ever tried to make Pho?? I’ve been looking for a good recipe, but haven’t had any luck yet.

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  2. adihugatree said on October 29, 2012 Reply

    Oh this is definitely gonna satisfy my spicy craving… I adore Thai food! 🙂
    Thanks for checking out my recipes! Keep writing!

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  3. The Kat and The Falling Leaves said on October 29, 2012 Reply

    I love rich spicy curries. Perfect for the weather we are having today.

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  4. ripe red berries said on October 30, 2012 Reply

    I too just LOVE curry – I’ll have to try this recipe. I have smelled shrimp paste – it is stinky, to say the least!

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  5. Jennelle Holland said on November 2, 2012 Reply

    I wonder if there’s an alternative to the shrimp paste that could be subbed out for anyone allergic to shellfish. Thanks for posting this recipe!

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    1. scarletrosita said on December 29, 2012 Reply

      Have you tried Fish Sauce (or Nam Plaa) that does the job, not so strongly and a little wetter but if you can’t eat shrimp perhaps this would help

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      1. Jennelle Holland said on December 29, 2012

        I have but it’s not really the same flavor to me. I think I have to just accept the fact that I’m allergic and things will taste differently. 🙂 (I’m in denial. I love shrimp.) Great suggestion though!

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      2. scarletrosita said on December 30, 2012

        I hate it when that happens, currently coming to terms with the fact that my body has decided it doesn’t like capsicum … I’m Italian … I want to cry!!

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  6. Andria said on November 5, 2012 Reply

    This looks delish, and it’s one of my favorite uses of sweet potato in the world!

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  7. Catherine said on November 8, 2012 Reply

    This could be on the menu tonight – provided The Girl agrees. Looks fab.

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  8. Wendy said on November 17, 2012 Reply

    Oh my goodness this makes me hungry for Thai!!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog….I’m off to try your recipe, looks heavenly, thanks! ~Wendy

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  9. miramiandmog said on November 18, 2012 Reply

    I love Red Thai Curry! I need to add a few of the spices to a shopping list to give to visitors from the UK, many of these ingredients are hard to come by in Cordoba. Dying to make it!

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  10. kristakeenan said on November 20, 2012 Reply

    My friend made a homemade curry dish for us once & I have never forgotten it. Yum. I’m totally gonna try this, but will substitute a veg fish sauce. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. thegrangerange.wordpress.com said on November 25, 2012 Reply

    I love Thai food too, this curry looks gorgeous will definitely be giving it try. Thank you for stopping by my blog.

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  12. midihideaways said on November 30, 2012 Reply

    Gorgeous recipe, makes me feel very hungry!! where you say coriander do you mean fresh or seeds?

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    1. homemadewithmess said on November 30, 2012 Reply

      Thank you 😀 I tend to use ground in the paste and then garnish with fresh.

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      1. midihideaways said on December 1, 2012

        Great, I always have seeds to hand so can have ground any time. Fresh is much more difficult to get here….

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  13. World Cruises & Travel said on November 30, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for liking my blog. I love to cook and I love Thai food!

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  14. Marisa said on December 3, 2012 Reply

    That looks completely delicious! How did you know I was craving red thai curry today? 🙂

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  15. FishAndChipsAt said on December 4, 2012 Reply

    .Looks awesome! Huge, huge fan of Thai food – 100% gonna give this recipe a go.

    Thanks for liking my post, it’s brand new so not a huge amount to look at but I have a lot of great content on its way 🙂

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  16. janislacrosse said on December 8, 2012 Reply

    This looks absolutely delicious! I love Thai food. Yum!
    And thanks for stopping by my blog togetherwechange.com! I will definitely be trying some homemade curry soon 🙂

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  17. T Hollis said on December 11, 2012 Reply

    I cannot wait to try this! Yum and yum!
    Thanks for stopping by my Post!

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  18. Kristy Mosher said on December 12, 2012 Reply

    I too love Thai food! It has to be my favourite by far. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  19. Emma Duncan said on December 13, 2012 Reply

    This sounds AMAZING! I’m gonna surprise my husband with this, he might be fooled into thinking I can cook…

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  20. nancymn said on December 28, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for the Like on my blog, and I hope you can find time to check out my chocolate blog on wordpress as well: http://achocolatelife.wordpress.com/

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  21. countrywoodsmoke said on December 29, 2012 Reply

    That looks a wonderful thai curry, a great balance of flavours.
    Cheers
    Marcus

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  22. rickwilliamspga.com said on December 30, 2012 Reply

    I WISH my wife was just a little more adventurous food wise. I do want to experiment with some Thai dishes, but she says she can’t get over her coconut aversion……the shrimp paste may cause an issue, too! This sounds really good though. Thanks for sharing your “trade secrets”.

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  23. phylliskirigin said on December 30, 2012 Reply

    Great post! I always make my own pastes and sauces whenever possible.

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  24. nasyitahtanwahling said on January 1, 2013 Reply

    This looks like a good recipe to try in 2013 🙂 There’s a version of shrimp paste in cake form used a lot in Malay cooking called “Belachan”. Think I’ll try to sub that for what you used and see how it goes.

    Cheers!
    Nasyitah
    http://www.coloursofthedomesticgoddess.wordpress.com

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  25. caligulamugler said on January 2, 2013 Reply

    I think Im going to try this, I love this dish in restaurants but really nobody I know likes thai but me ha

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  26. judibrereton said on January 4, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for liking my. Post. I also love Thai food. It’s the way that every single ingredient can be identified get every taste complements each other . I make Red Thai curry a lot but always use paste. Next time I’m going to try it your way, sounds yummy!

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  27. Tracy said on January 8, 2013 Reply

    Wow that looks wonderful! thank you for stopping by my blog and liking it. I’m still learning word.press. I hope to have my blog as organized as yours. Keep coming back to visit me http://mommabesscooks.com/

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  28. meganhcarroll said on January 17, 2013 Reply

    I love Thai food, but don’t cook it nearly enough… I think the reason is once you run out of shrimp paste once you don’t think to restock it….

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  29. dianaleahwilson said on January 17, 2013 Reply

    Looks delicious. Now I just need an awesome green curry recipe!

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    1. homemadewithmess said on January 18, 2013 Reply

      I do actually have a green paste recipe. If you search it on my blog it should pop up 😀

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      1. dianaleahwilson said on January 18, 2013

        Excellent, thanks!

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  30. Claire Noble said on January 23, 2013 Reply

    Wow–that looks yummy. Could I substitute tofu for the fish?

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    1. homemadewithmess said on January 23, 2013 Reply

      Hi,

      Yeah ofcorse you could, I imagine it would be really nice with Tofu in

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  31. bdsbrown1 said on January 23, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for liking my blog!!! I’m just hungry reading yours!

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  32. Rochefabrique said on January 24, 2013 Reply

    I’ll be trying this out 🙂

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  33. ysantoso said on January 31, 2013 Reply

    Love Thai red curry, I might give this a try!

    Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

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  34. lemoncake said on February 2, 2013 Reply

    I use this recipe too!! How bizarre! But I agree – best ever red thai curry. EVER!

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  35. Crazy Chess Girl said on February 7, 2013 Reply

    Not tomato ketchup! Ouch, ouch ouch! 🙂 I still need to advance to my own curry paste because so far I had no patience of buying so many ingredients but it looks great! But I will have to skip the ketchup, haha too gross! I am very anti-fructose corn syrup. Would a tomato souce do instead?

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  36. ourworldheritagebe said on February 11, 2013 Reply

    We love making our own curry paste. Never blend it though, we crush it using a mortar. Twice the fun 🙂

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  37. veganfoodpreparation said on February 19, 2013 Reply

    Looks great. I’ll substitute the fish with tofu also and see how that tastes.

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  38. anonymousmallu said on February 19, 2013 Reply

    Looks so Yummy!

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  39. MadebyMoiself said on February 19, 2013 Reply

    Will make this soon! Sounds delicious! 🙂

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  40. Lisa said on February 22, 2013 Reply

    This looks do good! Ive been wanting a good thai curry recipe Thanks for sharing!

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  41. Kavita Joshi said on April 4, 2013 Reply

    wow I love thai food..thanks a lot for sharing

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