Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste

Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste

Making your own Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste is easy and perfect for a Cheap Healthy Dinner in Minutes. Impress your dinner date with a stunning Vegetarian Thai Green Curry from Scratch!

Thai curry paste is the ‘base’ or main flavor component in all Thai Curry Dishes. Thai Curries rival those of India as the most famous Curries in the world. Although there are many different kinds, the most notable curries of Thailand are, Masaman, Jungle, Red, Yellow, Red, and my favorite, Green Curry.

Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste

Thai green curry is Tasty, Healthy and Cheap

Making your own curry paste is very inexpensive, allows you to customize ingredients, and leave out unwanted preservatives. Most curry pastes are readily available in Asian supermarkets, and now even most national groceries like Wholefoods and Walmart carry Thai curry paste options. If you’re in the mood for a Vegetarian or Vegan Curry, however, you may want to make your own. Most of the time, Thai curries contain shrimp paste, this fermented ingredient adds a salty, umami depth of flavor that is not easy to replicate.  There are a few vegan/vegetarian alternatives, however, and I will be sharing them with you today in this simple Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste recipe.

In Philadelphia, I was able to purchase everything dirt cheap at the Hong Kong Supermarket.

Grocery Receipt

Here is a fantastic list of Asian Grocery Stores around the world, is there one in your area?

Although fresh ingredients are always best, and often the least expensive, there are other alternatives. If you live in an area where there are no close by Asian or South East Asian Grocery Stores (i.e.,/ Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian) you can buy some essential Thai Green Curry aromatics like, kaffir lime, galangal, and lemongrass, in a dry kit on Amazon for $6.99, this is a little less than I paid for everything I purchased fresh. If you do buy these aromatics dry, I recommend reconstituting everything in warm water before making your Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste.

Thai Green Curry Ingredients

If you’ve never made Thai food before, you are about to discover quite a few new ingredients, for some of which there are no substitutions.

Thai Cuisine Staples

Galangal – a brown waxy Rhizome, also known as Thai Ginger, sort of looks like ginger but tastes nothing like ginger, can sometimes be substituted with tender young ginger, but I don’t recommend it. It is fresh, spicy and citrusy. Galangal can be purchased, fresh, frozen, dried or paste form.

Lemongrass – an aromatic perennial grass native to South East Asia, it smells like lemon but tastes lighter and sweeter. It has many medicinal benefits and culinary applications. Lemon Grass can be purchased, fresh, frozen, dried or paste form.

Kaffir Lime Leaves – Kaffir Lime or Thai lime is a citrus plant that produces bitter citrus fruit and highly aromatic leaves widely used in Thai cooking. The Kaffir lime leaves are easily recognized by their figure 8 like “double-leaf” shape. Can be purchased, fresh, frozen and dried.

Coriander Root

Coriander Roots – a strong peppery aromatic, the roots of the Coriander or Cilantro plant are used in Thai curry pastes. You can sometimes find fresh cilantro with a partial root still intact if cilantro root is not available you can substitute fresh cilantro leaves and about an inch of the stem in your curry paste.

Shrimp Paste – a fermented condiment made from ground shrimp and salt widely used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking.

Vegetarian Substitutions for Shrimp Paste

My favorite vegetarian substitutions for shrimp paste are, Brag’s Liquid Aminos, Trader Joes Coconut Aminos for a gluten-free and vegan option or Nuoc Mam Choy, Vietnamese Vegetarian Dip which is made with mostly Soy, Sugar, Chilis, and Garlic. If you’re looking for additional info on Vegan Fish Sauce alternatives Messy Vegan Cook has a great article with several more options. You can also make your own Nuoc Mam Choy; the Viet Vegan has a great recipe here.

Vegetarian Fish Sauce For this Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste recipe, we substituted the Shrimp paste with a Vietnamese  “Vegetarian Fish Sauce”, Nuoc Mam Cho.

Traditionally curry pastes are made by pounding aromatic ingredients like lemongrass, garlic, galangal, kaffir lime zest and leaves, cilantro root and shrimp paste, and whole spices in a heavy mortar and pestle into a fine paste. This is a very time-consuming process and you and I, unfortunately, don’t have that kind of time, so we are just going to toss everything into a food processor and let it rip, adding a little water, as needed,  to move things along.

Budget-Friendly Meal

This recipe makes enough Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste for two recipes. You can definitely use this paste in a pork or chicken curry if you prefer.
Coming in at only $2.56 per recipe or $1.28 per serving, this curry paste will fill not only fill your kitchen with a heavenly aroma and it also won’t empty your pockets.

Thai Green Curry DIY

Enjoy my friends!

Vegetarian Thai Green Curry

Making your own Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste is easy and perfect for a Cheap Healthy Dinner in Minutes. Impress your dinner date with a stunning Vegetarian Thai Green Curry from Scratch!

Course Condiment
Cuisine Thai
Keyword Cheap, Curry, Date Night, Delicious, Dinner, Easy, Fast, Frugal, Gluten-Free, Green, Green Curry, Lunch, Simple, Tasty, Thai, Thai Cuisine, Thai Curry, Thai Kitchen, Vegan, Vegetarian, Yummy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 Cup


  • 1 Tbsp Galangal about 1/2 inch slice
  • 2 Tbsp Lemongrass white parts only
  • 1 T Cilantro Roots
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 each Shallot small
  • 1 tsp Lime Zest
  • 3 each Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 10 each White Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetarian Fish Sauce
  • 5 each Jalapeños ribs and seeds removed


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse into a fine paste. You can add up to 1/4 cup of water if needed. 

  2. Can be used immediately or frozen for later use.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes 1 cup of curry paste which is enough for 2 meal preparations. 

For a spicier curry, do not remove ribs or seeds.

It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


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