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Best Substitute for Green Curry Paste (7 Picks)

As a lover of Thai cuisine myself, the importance of green curry paste in their dishes is like eggs on toast. It’s just a must! From spicy chicken sauce recipes to various Asian sauces, this paste covers it all. But what if you run out? Well, I’ve got the best substitutes for green curry paste that you just have to use.

You can substitute green curry paste with Thai red curry paste, laksa curry paste, and curry powder. But this isn’t all, so let’s cover every green curry paste swap for all your culinary needs!

🤷 What is Green Curry Paste?

Green curry paste is a vital component in Thai cuisine, particularly in the creation of green curry dishes. It’s a vibrant blend of green chilies, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, shallots, coriander roots, kaffir lime peel, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, and shrimp paste. The paste is a great way to use leftover curry. It’s used in Thai dishes like green curry soups and is often paired with coconut milk, vegetables, and proteins like chicken or shrimp. You can even use shrimp paste substitutes if you don’t have any around. 

🧑‍🍳 How to Make Green Curry Paste

To make green curry paste, blend together green chilies, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, shallots, coriander roots, kaffir lime peel, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, and shrimp paste until a vibrant and aromatic paste is formed. And there you have it, green curry paste made easy.

💡 Best Substitute for Green Curry Paste

Homemade Thai Green Curry Paste

The first alternative for green curry paste is to make your own, as it will supply you with the knowledge and skills to make your own at home. It’s also surprisingly easy to do so. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:


  • 10 green Thai chilies
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Blend until a smooth paste forms.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the paste and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. The paste is now ready to use in your favorite green curry recipe. You can repurpose leftover curry into brand new dishes if you have any leftover from making this.

Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai red curry paste is one of the few direct substitutes for green curry paste. It’s made from a blend of red chili peppers, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and other aromatic spices, which give it a distinctively spicy, savory flavor and red color. Unlike green curry paste, which is made with fresh green chili peppers, red curry paste is made with dried red chili peppers, which gives it a deeper, richer flavor profile. If you can’t find this option, you can use red curry paste substitutes instead.

Laksa Curry Paste

Laksa curry paste is a vibrant and aromatic blend of spices and herbs that forms the flavorful foundation of the beloved Southeast Asian dish known as laksa. It’s used to prepare various types of laksa, such as laksa lemak (coconut milk-based) and asam laksa (tamarind-based). To use this paste, simply heat a pot or skillet, add a few tablespoons of the paste, and sauté it until fragrant.

Curry Powder

Curry powder is the King of classic spices. It’s composed of spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers, creating a unique flavor similar to green curry paste. While the taste may not be identical, it can still provide a delicious and flavorful alternative. Start with a small amount of curry powder and adjust to your liking. You can use coconut milk or cream to balance the flavors and create a creamy texture.

Indian Vindaloo Curry Paste

Indian Vindaloo curry paste is a flavorful option made from spices, including cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon. It can enhance the flavor of various foods like meat dishes, vegetable dishes, and seafood dishes. However, the dish can become spicy, so adjust the amount of paste used accordingly. You can also add coconut milk or cream for a creamier and richer sauce. To use it, heat oil in a pan, add the paste, and cook until it becomes fragrant. Then, add your preferred protein or vegetables.

Yellow Curry Paste

Yellow curry paste is a great alternative to green curry paste if you want a mild and flavorful option. It’s made up of a blend of spices, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, which gives it a unique yellow color and taste. It’s commonly used in Thai and Indian cuisine and pairs perfectly with chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Massaman Paste

Massaman paste is originally from southern Thailand and is made with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. It has a slightly sweet and mild flavor, making it a great alternative to green curry paste. It pairs well with chicken, beef, lamb, and seafood and can also be used as a dip or spread for sandwiches and wraps. Although this paste is not as spicy as green curry paste, if you prefer a spicier flavor, add chili flake substitutes or fresh chilies to the dish.

🧐 FAQs

What does green curry paste taste like?

Green curry paste flavor profile is characterized by a balance of spicy, savory, and herbal notes. Its distinctive taste arises from the heat of green chilies, complemented by the umami richness of ingredients like garlic and shrimp paste.

What is in green curry paste?

Green curry paste typically includes ingredients such as green chili peppers, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro roots, cumin, coriander seeds, and shrimp paste.

Where to buy green curry paste?

Local grocery stores typically feature it in the international or Asian foods section, while specialty Asian markets and Thai product-focused stores offer a diverse selection. Online retailers like Amazon also provide the paste.

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