A Taste of Thailand: Red Curry

I often wonder why Thai cuisine isn’t more popular in the United States. The aroma and taste of Thai curry is really like nothing else, and when prepared with a red curry paste made from a fresh ingredients at home, it’s such a treat!

Thai Red Curry

This adaptation is from Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray’s book, The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East, but this version favors more readily available ingredients.

A Taste of Thailand: Red Curry

A Taste of Thailand: Red Curry


  • 6-8 tablespoons diced fresh lemongrass
  • 5-10 red chiles fully seeded (I used red Fresno chile peppers*)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 15 oz. cans coconut milk
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can straw mushrooms
  • 1 15 oz. can baby corn in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Serve with

  • Basmati Jasmine, or other rice, prepared


  • Red curry is a two step process, but fortunately both steps are rather easy. Step 1, make the curry paste.
  • In a food processor, combine lemongrass, red chiles, ginger, garlic, lime zest and salt. Apply a long pulse or blend a few times to mix the ingredients. After a rough paste is achieved, add 1/4 cup coconut milk and blend 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides about every 30 seconds, until a smooth paste is achieved. Now on to step 2, making the red curry.
  • Add the red curry paste to a deep sauté pan or pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the remaining coconut milk. Add carrots, and let cook for about 7-10 minutes. After 7-10 minutes, gently stir in straw mushrooms and baby corn and wait another 3-5 minutes. Finally, add water chestnuts and soy sauce to taste, and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve piping hot with prepared rice.
Red Chili Pepper

* I am noticing more and more grocery stores carrying the peppers I purchased, but they’re often under the simple name “red chile peppers.” When in doubt, find the closest pepper that you can find and adjust the heat by taste. In the mood for more heat? You can always add a bit of the chili pepper’s white membrane into the paste, but be careful, this is where a large amount of capsaicin is stored. This photo was made available from the public domain via Wikipedia.







  1. Tiffany Avatar

    The curry looks delicious! I’ve never made the paste from scratch, but at least I now know the simplicity of the process so I can try it myself sometime. Thanks for sharing!

  2. inspiredeats Avatar

    Thanks, Tiffany! This is probably the simplest curry paste I’ve ever made, but it really tasted great (I attribute that to fresh paste ingredients + coconut milk + my favorite Asian veggies, like straw mushrooms).

  3. Cat Avatar

    I love red curry (and panang curry… and green curry… and and and…) and you’re absolutely right about fresh ingredients making it simple. Toss in a little Chinese eggplant and maybe some bamboo shoots, and I’m sold!

Leave a Reply