How to make Thai curry paste for Khao Soi from scratch
One of the things I loved about my 14 years living in Bangkok, Thailand was Thai curries. Spicy, sweet, savory, herbal and almost always with a hint of shrimp.
Of course, I ate most of my Thai curries at restaurants all over Thailand but, in my last few years in this amazing country, I also learned to make my own curries from scratch. Including making the fresh Thai curry paste that goes into Khao Soi, my favorite Thai dish, instead of buying it already made at my local market.
So, how do you make Thai curry paste for Khao Soi? Honestly, it is dead easy and, once you have done it, and can taste the difference between your Khao Soi curry paste and that you buy at the supermarket, you will never make a curry without first mixing the curry paste ever again.
Plus, if you do not like very spicy curries or, on the other hand, absolutely love them, if you make your own Thai curry paste, you can make it to your preferred level of spice.
Here are the ingredients you will need for your Khao Soi curry paste, as well as instructions on how to make it. It takes about 10-15 minutes to do, so it is not labor-intensive at all.
And, if you would like to see this all done step-by-step, there is a video at the bottom of the page from Hot Thai Kitchen’s YouTube channel that shows the same steps I also use.
How to make Thai green curry paste for Khao Soi from scratch
10 large dried chilies
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of chopped shallots
10 pieces of peeled and sliced ginger
8 pieces of fresh peeled and sliced turmeric (you can use powder if this is more difficult to get), in which case about 1 teaspoon
1 1/2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
3 pods of black cardamom (cao guo)
- Remove the seeds for your dried chilies and then soak the chilies in water until they are soft.
- Cut into the black cardamom pods with scissors, cracking the hard casing and removing the seeds.
- Break the seeds into small pieces and put into a small frying pan along with the coriander seeds. Toast on a medium heat, moving the pan around as you toast them so they do not stick to the bottom and burn. Once coriander seeds have darkened, they are ready.
- Put a smear of olive oil into the same frying pan and add the ginger and turmeric and char around the edges. Flip the pieces over as each side starts to brown.
- Remove from heat and chop the ginger and turmeric into small pieces. Put the coriander seeds and cardamom seeds into a mortar bowl and grind into a fine powder with the pestle.
- Remove from the mortar and now add the chilies and salt, and grinding them into a paste.
- Add the ginger and turmeric to the chilies and salt mixture and mix into a paste. Add the coriander seeds and cardamom seeds and mix together thoroughly.
- Put the finished Khao Soi curry paste into a bowl and cover. It will make two Khao Soi dishes, so use half and then keep the other half in the refrigerator until you use it.