The 5 Best Substitutes for Red Curry Paste

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Have you ever wondered what gives red curry its gentle heat and unique flavor? Red curry paste is the solution.

Its an essential ingredient in many Thai dishes and easy to make at home.

Once youve mastered the basics of red curry paste, you can experiment using it differently.

Add it to soup or stir-fries for a flavor boost, or use it as a marinade for chicken or shrimp.

For a truly authentic Thai experience, look for red curry paste at your local Asian market.

Or, if you cant find it, dont worry there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well.

In this article, well explore the five best substitutes for red curry paste.

What is Red Curry Paste?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Red Curry Paste

Red curry paste is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

The paste is made from a blend of red chili peppers, shallots, garlic, galangal, and lemongrass.

These ingredients are all traditionally ground into a paste using a mortar and pestle.

However, you can also find pre-made pastes at most Asian markets.

To use red curry paste, simply simmer it in coconut milk or water until it is heated.

Then, add your choice of protein and vegetables.

Red curry paste is often used in Thai dishes such as curries, soups, and stir-fries.

It can also be used to flavor rice or noodles.

Red curry paste is easy to add depth of flavor to any dish.

With just a few spoonfuls, you can transform a simple meal into a delicious and exotic feast.

If you make your red curry paste, you can control the heat level by adjusting the number of chili peppers you use.

Simply use less chili peppers to make a milder curry.

For a spicier curry, add more chili peppers to the paste.

You can also adjust the level of heat by adding more or less coconut milk to the dish.

Red curry paste may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you want to extend its shelf life, you can freeze the paste for up to 6 months.

When freezing red curry paste, be sure to place it in an airtight container.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Red Curry Paste

The 5 Best Substitutes for Red Curry Paste

If youre in a pinch and need a red curry paste substitute, look no further.

Here are the five best substitutes for red curry paste that you can use to create a delicious Thai-inspired dish.

1 – Yellow Curry Paste

Yellow Curry Paste is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

It is made from a blend of aromatic spices, including turmeric, cumin, and coriander.

Yellow curry paste can be used to make curries, soups, stews, and marinades.

It is also an excellent way to add flavor to stir-fries and rice dishes.

When cooking with yellow curry paste, it is important to keep in mind that it is very concentrated.

As a result, it should be used sparingly at first and then added to taste.

Yellow curry paste can also be substituted for red curry paste in many recipes.

When substituting Yellow curry paste for red curry paste, it is important to use half as much Yellow curry paste as you would red curry paste.

This will help to ensure that the dish does not become too spicy.

2 – Green Curry Paste

Green curry paste is a staple of Thai cuisine, and it can be used to add flavor and heat to a wide variety of dishes.

The paste is made from a blend of green chilies, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, and spices.

It is typically used in curries and soups, but it can also be used as a marinade or dipping sauce.

When shopping for green curry paste, look for a product that is made with fresh ingredients and has a bright green color.

Avoid pastes containing preservatives or MSG.

To use green curry paste, simply add it to your dish during the cooking process.

For best results, fry the paste in oil for a few minutes before adding other ingredients.

If you need to substitute green curry paste for red curry paste, simply use half as much of the green paste as you would.

For example, if a recipe calls for one tablespoon of red curry paste, use only half a tablespoon of green curry paste.

3 – Classic Curry Powder

Curry powder is a versatile and flavorsome spice blend that can be used in a variety of dishes.

To cook with curry powder, simply add it to your dish during the cooking process.

For best results, add curry powder towards the end of cooking so that the spices have time to infuse the dish with flavor.

If youre looking for a substitution for red curry paste, curry powder makes an excellent choice.

Simply mix the curry powder with a little water to create a paste, and use it in your dish as you would normally use red curry paste.

Whether youre cooking up a tasty curry or adding some flavor to your favorite dish, curry powder is a great choice.

4 – Mix Chili Paste and Curry Powder

Chili paste and curry powder are both pantry essentials.

You can use this spice blend in any recipe that calls for curry powder or use it as a rub for chicken or fish.

But what if you want to add a little extra flavor to your curry powder? Try mixing in a teaspoon or two of chili paste.

The chili paste will add depth and heat to the curry powder without overwhelming the other flavors.

If you want to add even more heat, consider substituting a mix of chili paste and curry powder for red curry paste in your next recipe.

But its also very versatile, so dont be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect balance of heat and flavor for your taste buds.

5 – Harissa Paste

Harissa paste is a North African chili paste used in Moroccan cuisine.

It is made with a blend of chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices such as cumin and coriander.

The paste can be used in various ways, including as a marinade for meat or vegetables or as a condiment served on the side.

Harissa paste can also be used as a substitute for red curry paste in Thai or Indian dishes.

When cooking with harissa paste, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way.

The paste can be added to recipes gradually, taste-testing as you go until you reach the desired level of heat.

For those new to cooking with harissa paste, it is best to start with a small amount and increase it gradually until you find the perfect balance for your palate.


In conclusion, there are a few different substitutes for red curry paste that can be used in a pinch.

These include green curry paste, yellow curry paste, curry powder, a mix of chili paste and curry powder, and Harissa paste.

Each of these options will provide a similar flavor profile to red curry paste, so it just comes down to personal preference.

If you cant find any of these pastes at your local grocery store, dont worry they can all be easily ordered online.

So go ahead and try them, and see which one you like the best.


What can I replace red curry paste with?

Substitute for Red Curry Paste

If you are unable to get all of the ingredients to make your own curry paste, you can use curry powder instead. Generally, use 1 teaspoon of curry powder for every tablespoon of curry paste in any given recipe. You can adjust to your flavor preferences from there. That’s it, my friends.

What is red curry paste made of?

Red curry paste is a versatile and flavorful base for a variety of Thai dishes. In its most basic form, it consists of red chili peppers, garlic, sea salt, lemongrass, turmeric, and shrimp paste (source).

What can I use instead of red Thai chili paste?

Thai Chili Substitutes – 8 Perfect Alternatives
Serrano Peppers. Serrano peppers are a common variety that can be found in many grocery stores.
Chili Garlic Sauce.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.
Cayenne Peppers.
Hot Paprika Powder.
Jalapeño Peppers.
(Certain) Hot Sauces.
Gochugaru or La Jiao Mian.

Can I substitute red curry paste for powder?

Can curry powder be substituted for curry paste? The difference in flavor profile and heat level means that it’s not a good idea to substitute curry paste for curry powder. If you’re hoping to cook a traditional Thai or Indian dish, this substitution would throw off the flavors in your final dish.

Is red curry paste the same as masala?

What is the difference between Masala and Curry? Curry refers to a cooked vegetable, meat, or seafood with spices and salt. On the other hand, masala is a kind of mixed spices used in a curry to add more flavor and taste to it. This is the main difference between the terms masala and curry.

What can I use instead of garam masala in red curry paste?


For a quick stand-in, a mixture of cumin (1 part) and all-spice (¼ part) will do the trick; after all, all-spice mimics the flavors found in cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.

What flavor is red curry paste?

Curry in red. This type of curry is moderately spiced and one of the most versatile. Red curry is made with several red chilies, which gives it a bold and spicy flavor. Ingredients for the curry base include coriander, cumin, red bell pepper, red chile, lemongrass, and ginger.

What is typically in red curry?

The main ingredients include (dried) red chili peppers, garlic, shallots, galangal, shrimp paste, salt, makrut lime leaves, coriander root, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns and lemongrass.

What is the difference between curry and red curry paste?

Traditionally, all Thai curries were made with the same ingredients except for one thing: the chilies. Red curry was made with several red chilies for a fiery hot dish, while green curry was made with green chilies and yellow curry was made with yellow chilies.

What is slightly different Thai red curry paste?

Slightly Different Thai Red Curry Sauce is a spicy and aromatic authentic curry sauce, with coconut milk and red curry paste. A sure hit for Thai curry lovers, without onion or garlic. Serving size: A 125g serve is low FODMAP, 2 serves per jar. FODMAP friendly certification.

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