I don’t know that this recipe qualifies as a true, authentic curry paste, but it’s my version of a simple condiment that adds loads of Thai flavor to anything, from simple soups or stir-fries to rice or noodles and Thai Shrimp cakes. And the ingredients are available at almost any grocery these days, so no need for any special expeditions. I like to make a batch of this to keep in the fridge to add a boost to anything I stir up. It will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container or can be frozen.
Thai Curry Paste
I don’t like overwhelming heat, so I use one mild jalepeno with the seeds removed. Feel free to make this as spicy as you want, or use red chili.
1 shallot, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed
1 green chili, or to taste
2 garlic cloves
Small chunk of fresh ginger, peeled (about ½ the size of your thumb)
Small handful of fresh cilantro leaves
2 dried kaffir lime leaves (optional) or a few strips of lime zest
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
1 – 2 Tablespoons safflower or canola oil
Cut the shallot, lemongrass, chili and ginger into small chunks and drop in a small food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients excluding the oil and grind to a paste, scraping the sides often. Drizzle in the oil until the mixture is a smooth paste and your desired consistency.
Cover and refrigerate.