What’s the difference between Thai curry pastes?

What’s the difference between Thai curry pastes?

Sep 06, 2023Nikita Singh

What’s the difference between Thai curry pastes? Is green or red curry spicier? Mustard Foods breaks down each Thai curry paste and how they’re used. 

Thai food is characterised by an emphasis on strong aromatic ingredients and a spicy edge. While some dishes are spicier than others, they all rely on five essential components to achieve a flavoursome balanced dish.

All Thai curries begin with a curry paste gently tempered in oil to release their flavour and aroma, but how do the various pastes differ?


Thai Green Curry Paste

Thai Green Curry is undoubtedly the most popular Thai curry, not just in the UK but in Thailand as well. The green paste is prepared with fresh aromatic ingredients including green chillies, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, and coriander which results in a bright and vibrant curry. 

Green curry pastes are often paired with lighter proteins such as chicken or seafood, and fresh vegetables like sugar snap peas and green peppers, which are added toward the end of cooking to retain a crisp texture. 



Thai Red Curry Paste

The main difference between green and red curry paste is the use of fresh vs dried chillies. Red curry paste gets its heat and colour from dried red chillies ground into a powder while green curry uses fresh green chillies. The other components of a red curry paste, such as garlic, shallots and galangal, are similar to a green paste. 

Dried red chillies add a hot earthy tone to the curry compared to fresh green chillies, so Thai red curries tend to be slightly hotter and less sweet than a green curry. 


Massaman Curry Paste

Massaman Curry is notably different from green and red curries. Heavily influenced by Persia and the Indian subcontinent, this curry paste incorporates more dried spices such as coriander seed, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, in addition to more traditional Thai ingredients like tamarind and lemongrass. Massaman curries are generally quite mild, traditionally paired with beef and potatoes as the base of the dish. 


Panang Curry Paste

Panang is a type of Thai red curry with similar paste ingredients including garlic, shallots, dried red chilli, coriander seed, and cumin.  While very similar to a Thai red curry, Panang is a slightly drier thicker curry that’s milder than a red one. Some variations include peanuts that give it a sweeter nuttier flavour.


Thai Curry Base Sauces

Preparing fresh curry pastes and cooking Thai curries from scratch can be a rewarding endeavour but it requires time and 30 different ingredients. 
Try outsourcing a versatile Thai base sauce to customise proteins, vegetables and spice levels to suit the preferences of your customer base. 

Contact us for information on base sauces and how they can streamline your kitchen and procurement process.

More articles

Comments (0)

There are no comments for this article. Be the first one to leave a message!

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published