Homemade Red Curry Paste with Cashews | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Homemade Red Curry Paste with Cashews

Homemade Red Curry Paste

I change the way I used to cut lemon grass, and it makes a significant difference for my red curry paste. I thought I must have looked proud the moment I found this a very satisfying homemade paste.

Or, am I the only one not knowing such trick or tip?!

Usually, before pounding ingredients into a paste, I’d cut them down into smaller pieces. Following the same habit, what I did was: roughly chopped the galangal, garlic, shallot, and cut lemon grass into short sections. And with the help of a food processor and several hits on the pulse button, I’d had a red curry paste easily made. Tasty though, it turned out to be very fibrous and made me feel something grassy in mouth.

Truth is, lemongrass has lots of fibers that run the length of its stalk. To weaken them, the best way proved to me is to thinly slice the stalks crosswise before pulverizing them in a food processor or mortar. Then, the fibers will be too short to be interfering. What we get will be a creamier and aromatic paste.

Slicing Lemon Grass

  • Ingredients
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red chili coarse
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 3-4 cm knob of galangal
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallot, ~2 pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic, ~6-8 cloves
  • 2 lemon grass / lemongrass stalks
  • 40g roasted cashew nuts, ~20pcs
  • 5 sprigs coriander / cilantro roots with some stems (~2-3 cm) attached
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Coriander Soup with Century Egg and Fish Fillet


Remove dry outer layer(s) of the lemongrass. Cut off the greener upper sections, the bottom root, and reserve the bulbous pale yellow lower stalks, about 5-6cm. Slice them crosswise as thin as possible.

Dry-fry ground coriander and ground cumin in a pan till fragrant and let cool.

Before chopping the galangal or cutting the coriander root, scrape off any dirts and ragged bits, rinse them and pat dry. Then, put all ingredients including the lemongrass in a food processor and pulverize. To achieve a creamier paste, rest every one-to-two second pulse, and scrape down the mixture from the side of the container. Pulse again, (repeat scrape-downs if needed) until the desired consistency is formed. Store the paste in an air-tight glass container and keep in fridge for up to a month. And, feel free to multiply the amount of the ingredients, the quantities here yield about half cup of paste.

This red curry paste is good for cooking with seafoods, meats and even vegetables. A simple dish I like very much is stir-fried green beans with this paste, to which I often add some paprika and coconut cream.

I have also tried a variation with one onion replacing the cashews, and it is still hard for me to decide which one is better.

Stir-fried Long Beans with Red Curry Paste

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  1. pigpigscorner

    Thanks for the tip! The cashew sounds like a nice addition.

  2. penny aka jeroxie

    Nice choice of nuts…. I usually use candlenuts.

  3. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    I also thinly cut the lemon grass before grinding them in a food processor. Great minds think a like. 🙂
    Love your idea of adding cashews. It’s very handy and I also keep a packet in my pantry for snack time.

  4. TasteHongKong

    @pigpigscorner, You are welcome.

    @penny aka jeroxie, Thanks for sharing.

    @Christine@Christine’s Recipes, Thanks, I feel honored.

  5. the lacquer spoon

    Tokyo is expecting to have this hot and humid air till mid Sep, so my tongue is always craving for something spicy like your curry! Lemongrass is a decent spice, but the fibre often goes back and forth in my mouth, losing an exit. I totally agree your cutting way. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. tigerfish

    I hope to try this red curry paste sometime soon. It sounds easy to make and must be a great fresh addition to the green beans dish you have put up 😀

  7. Chinoiseries

    I’ve actually never made fresh curry paste before, this looks easy and doable enough, especially with your detailed explanations 🙂 Thanks a lot!

  8. Cooking Gallery

    Good job! I lack the patience for making my own curry spices, I admire people who do so…!

  9. Juliana

    Wow, your red curry looks delicious specially with cashews…

  10. 5 Star Foodie

    The cashews sound like a terrific addition, awesome curry paste!

  11. Little Inbox

    Since small, I saw my mum cut lemon grass in such a way, so I just follow without thinking a lot. Hehe……

  12. Tastes of Home

    Wow, what a coincidence, I just put up curry chicken but I am embarassed to say I did not make my own curry paste:) Yours sound yummy and unique too with the addition of cashew nuts..

  13. Angie's Recipes

    The red curry paste looks so fresh and tempting with cashews…I bet the green beans must have tasted heavenly!

  14. Heavenly Housewife

    Beautiful ingredients, I am sure this sauce is rich and flavourful.
    *kisses* HH

  15. TasteHongKong

    @Tastes of Home,
    I also use bottled curry paste when my laziness wins. Yes, the roasted cashews do add much flavors and creaminess to the paste.

  16. Mary Moh

    Beautiful curry paste. It’s worth to make a batch and keep in the fridge. Thanks for the tip. I always slice it thin and pass it through my masticating juicer. I love curry!

  17. TasteHongKong

    I haven’t tried doing such, but thanks for sharing the tip here!

  18. Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    I bet it’s really flavourful by seeing the list of ingredients

  19. Carolyn Jung

    A curry paste with cashews sounds rich and heavenly. With a big bowl of rice, I’d have one mighty fine meal.

  20. Lynne (PlumLeaf)

    I love the recipe! Is this curry paste quite mild? & how many tbsps do you use when cooking for 2 people with a medium hit of heat?

    I’ve only made green curry paste and it’s worth the effort for the aromatic flavours.
    I do use jarred sauces when I’m feeling lazy though! ;0)

  21. TasteHongKong

    @Lynne (PlumLeaf),

    Yes, I lean toward the milder side. Adding more spoons of this paste to foods will mainly intensify the flavors. To make it taste hotter, you may want to add more red chili coarse. The exact amount shall depend on the spiciness of your chili; to me, a total of 1 1/2 tsp sounds reasonable.

  22. Lisa

    I’ve used red curry paste instead of soy sauce for making fried rice and it’s absolutely to die for!!! I always reminiscent of the taste…..you should give it a try.

  23. TasteHongKong

    Thanks for the advice! Yes, I like fried rice cooked in different ways, with spicy flavor is one of them.

  24. lena

    hi maureen, thanks for coming by my blog. amost forgot to tell you, just to let you know that you ‘ve missed out the galangal in your ingredient list ..so i was just judging from the look of the picture here and used about the same size as yours 🙂

  25. TasteHongKong

    Hi lena,
    I too have to thank you for trying out this and sharing on your blog. Problem fixed, thanks again!

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