Green curry paste is a key ingredient in Thai cooking. It’s traditionally made with green chilies, cilantro root, garlic cloves, salt, and shrimp paste.
However, finding this product at the grocery store can be difficult, and you might not have time to make your own from scratch.
Today I will show you how to substitute for green curry paste using more readily available ingredients!
What is green curry paste made of?
Green curry paste combines fresh green chilies, shallots, lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger), coriander roots and seeds, lime zest and leaves, cilantro roots, and stems, plus garlic and salt.
The paste is then blended into a smooth mixture that can be used as a base to make various types of Thai dishes like soup, sauce, or stir-fry.
7 Best Green Curry Paste Substitute
1. HARISSA PASTE
Harissa paste is easy to with green curry paste substitute. Harissa is a fiery, North African pepper paste. It’s great for seasoning couscous with or using it in place of red chili paste in a sauce or marinade.
Salmon is my favorite dish to prepare because it is nutritious. The flavor is fantastic when using green curry paste instead of red curry paste.
I usually add some lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil on top of the fish before cooking. Then in a heated pan, I will cook the salmon skin-side down until crisp, then turn it over to finish cooking through.
The end result is moist and delicious salmon with beautifully crispy skin. You can try it, though.
2. CURRY POWDER
Curry powder is similar to green curry paste. They both rely on coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and chilies to foundation their flavor profiles.
But suppose you don’t have access to all these fresh items or just can’t be bothered with the peeling and chopping involved in making curry paste from scratch. In that case, it is possible to approximate green curry paste using a blend of traditional curry powder spices.
So when you add a pinch of curry powder over the recipe, you can feel the aroma of the food.
3. MASSAMAN PASTE
Massaman Paste is a Thai dish that is made with curry paste. The paste is made with roasted spices, such as cumin, coriander, and cardamom.
The dish usually includes chicken or beef and potatoes and onions.
A massaman paste can also be made vegetarian by substituting meat with tofu or vegetables. The paste can also be used to flavor other dishes, such as stir-fries or noodles.
A massaman paste is a delicious and healthy dish perfect for any occasion!
Read More– 11 Salt Pork Alternatives
4. HOMEMADE GREEN CURRY PASTE
Green curry is one of our favorite Thai dishes. We can eat it every day! Green curry paste keeps well in the fridge for a week or two, and if you make a big batch, you can keep some for months in your freezer.
This is a very basic recipe – we suggest you try other combinations with different chilies and herbs until you find your perfect personal blend.
But remember – as long as there are enough fresh green chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal (ginger works instead), the rest of the ingredients don’t really matter that much.
Besides many other varieties available now, we still prefer the classic green curry made from fresh hot Thai green chilies and sweet basil leaves.
- 8-10 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
- 3 thumb-sized slices galangal (or ginger), bruised
- 6-8 fresh green chilies, stems removed
- 1 cup water or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped sweet basil leaves (optional)
Pound the garlic, shrimp paste, cumin, and coriander seeds into a rough paste in a mortar and pestle. Add the kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chilies, and water (or chicken stock) and pound until you have a smooth paste.
If you haven’t a mortar and pestle, use a food processor instead – just be careful not to over-process the ingredients, or it will turn into a sauce rather than a paste.
Refrigerate the green curry paste in an airtight jar for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
5. YELLOW CURRY PASTE
Another method to change the flavor of your Thai curry is to use yellows curry paste instead of green curry paste. Yellows curry paste has a sweet flavor, adding a new dimension to your Thai curry dish.
If you’re searching for a different taste experience, try using yellows curry paste the next time you make Thai curry. You might be amazed by how much you enjoy the sweet flavor it brings to the dish.
6. PANANG CURRY PASTE
There are a few variations of green curry paste, but they all have similar ingredients. The main difference between the pastes is the type of chili used. Try using Panang curry paste instead of green curry paste for a sweeter flavor.
You can find Panang curry paste at most supermarkets. If you can’t find it there, try checking the ethnic food aisle or the international section of your supermarket.
You can even prepare your own Panang curry paste if you’re feeling adventurous.
All you need is a few simple ingredients like Thai chilies, lemongrass, shrimp paste, and cilantro. Simply combine them together in a food processor or blender, and you’re ready to go!
7. RED CURRY PASTE
If you want to sweeten your red curry paste, consider using honey instead of sugar. To make the paste creamier, add a small amount of coconut milk.
Adding Thai basil will give your dish an aromatic flavor, while adding fresh ginger can give your curry dish a bit of heat. Hay, if you want to spice in your dish, try using cayenne pepper or chili flakes.
Try using a fish sauce or shrimp paste in your curry paste for a richer flavor. You can also play with various herbs and spices to create a distinct flavor profile for your food.
No matter what ingredients you choose, homemade curry paste always tastes better than store-bought. So get creative and have some fun with it!
What’s the difference between yellow curry paste and green curry paste?
Curry paste is a combination of pureed aromatics – typically shallots, lemongrass, garlic, fresh chilies, and galangal – which form the base flavor for curries.
Curry pastes are available in red, yellow, and green varieties. The color is simply a reflection of the type and amount of chilies that have been used to make the paste. The more chilies, the deeper the color.
Yellow curry paste tends to be milder than red or green curry paste because it contains fewer chilies or less intensely flavored chilies such as poblano peppers.
All three types can be smooth or coarse-textured, depending on how they were processed. Still, they’re all made from very similar ingredients with just slight differences in flavor.
Most Thai curries are made with a combination of coconut milk and chicken or beef broth. The resulting sauce is then poured over steamed rice.
Yellow curry, while milder than green or red curry, still packs a flavorful punch that will leave you wanting more.
If you’re peeking for a delicious yet mildly spicy Thai dish to add to your repertoire, look no further than yellow curry paste.
Wrap up On- Substitute for Green curry paste
Are you ready to use any of those substitutes for green curry paste? These alternatives will help you make a delicious Thai dish without worrying about what’s in your food.
Although some of them may not be 100% accurate replacements, they come close and can still give you an authentic taste of Bangkok street food!
Remember, when using any substitute ingredient in a recipe, it is always best to use it as just one part of your meal so it doesn’t overpower other flavors or textures.
FAQs Related To Green Paste & Its Alternatives
Q1. Can I use curry sauce instead of curry paste?
Yes, you can use curry sauce instead of curry paste. However, the flavor may not be as intense. If you want a stronger flavor, consider using a bit more curry paste.
Alternatively, make your own curry sauce by combining canned coconut milk, chicken or vegetable stock, and curry powder. Adjusting to taste.
Q2. What is the difference between red and green curry?
Red and green curries are made with different types of chilies. Red curries are made with dried red chilies, while green curries are made with fresh green chilies.
This results in a different level of heat and flavor. Red curries tend to be spicier than green curries.