Nam Prik Gaeng Ped (Red Curry Paste)

Have you tried the Panang curry paste recipe yet? If so, this one is similar (same same except the peanuts!). Red curry paste can be used to make red curry, obviously, but it can also be used in other curries as well … like the gaeng saparot gai recipe I have posted. Delish!

Nam Prik Gaeng Ped - Red Curry Paste

  • Servings: varies
  • Difficulty: intermediate

Note: You can either use a mini-processor to make this paste which makes the recipe so much easier or you can use a mortar and pestle like they do in Thailand. If you choose the latter option, be prepared to spend a good amount of time pounding the paste to get the right consistency. It’s a great final product but it definitely takes time!


  • 7 large guajillo dried chillies
  • 2 TBSP garlic, chopped
  • 2 TBSP shallots, chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemongrass, chopped (see notes)
  • 1 tsp galangal, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander root, chopped (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp Kaffir lime peel (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns, roasted (see notes)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste

Notes: Here are some notes on the above ingredients.

  • Lemongrass: For this recipe you can use either fresh lemongrass, dried, or powdered lemongrass. Powdered is easier to find and works well in pastes.
  • Coriander Root: This is exactly what it sounds like. You are not using the leaves; you are using the root. Some coriander in the market may already have the root removed. Try the organic section. You should be able to find it somewhere!
  • Kaffir Lime Peel: This is like the zest off a lemon or lime, but specifically from the Kaffir lime. These limes are not grown in the US and are nearly impossible to find in stores (I have yet to find them). You can order them from ImportFood or you can find a powdered or dried version.
  • Roasted Peppercorns, Coriander Seeds, Peanuts: For any of the roasted items you can either roast them yourselves or attempt to find the products pre-roasted. I would recommend roasting them yourself (placing in a pan on low/medium heat and browning) so that you can use the rest of your stock of the product in other recipes that may not call for roasted.

Method with Mini-Processor

  1. Place dried chilies in a bowl of hot water and let soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Place chilies and remaining ingredients into mini-processor and blend until paste is formed. Add a tablespoon of water if paste is too dry.

Method with Mortar and Pestle

  1. Place dried chilies in a bowl of hot water and let soak for 15 minutes. Remove from water and set aside.
  2. Put peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds into a mortar and pound well.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except shrimp paste. Pound until mixed well.
  4. Add shrimp paste. Pound until fine and smooth.

Note: Take your time! This is not going to be done in five minutes. It’ll probably take more like 15-20 minutes or potentially longer. Put some muscle into it!


  • Curry pastes can last up to a few months if kept in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator.

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