Thai red curry is a simple way to add flavor and heat to any weekday dinner, and it’s also quite versatile. A few tablespoons, some coconut milk, add your preferred meat and vegetables, and supper is ready. A red curry paste replacement may be necessary if you are unable to acquire this particular paste in your location.
Recreating the complex taste of authentic Thai red curry may be difficult due to the large number of ingredients required. There is no exact substitute, although harissa paste comes quite close. For those who don’t like for red curry, sriracha offers a comparable kick and garlicky taste.
There is a variety of different choices available, and a lot of them are at their most effective when combined. Do some testing in the kitchen to find the best substitute for red curry paste.
What is Red Curry Paste?
It’s not hard to see why red curry paste is so popular; it’s a flavorful addition to many meals. Blending together red chili peppers, shallots, garlic, galangal, and lemongrass, the paste is created.
In the past, these components were often combined in a mortar and pestle to form a paste. However, most Asian supermarkets have pre-made pastes.
Red curry paste may be prepared by heating it in a saucepan with either coconut milk or water. Then, top with the meat and veggies of your choosing.
Thai curries, soups, and stir-fries often use red curry paste as an ingredient. You may add it to your rice or noodles to give them a delicious taste.
An simple way to give your food more depth of flavor is to use red curry paste. You just need a little amount to make an ordinary dish seem unusual and satisfying.
Making your own red curry paste allows you to tailor the intensity by varying the amount of chili peppers you use. Just reduce the amount of chili peppers you put into the dish.
More chili peppers in the mixture will make the curry hotter. Adding more or less coconut milk to the meal will also change the intensity of the heat.
The shelf life of red curry paste in the fridge is two weeks. The paste may be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
For safe storage in the freezer, red curry paste should be stored in an airtight container.
Best Substitutes For Red Curry Paste
1. Curry Powder
However, if I’m craving curry but don’t have any curry paste on hand, I’ve found that a few tablespoons of curry powder will give my dish a similar but not identical flavor.
To approximate the flavor of curry paste, use 1 teaspoon of curry powder for every 1 tablespoon of paste.
Start with less and add more to taste if you like your curries on the milder side. Too much heat may be easily remedied by adding more, but not so with curry.
2. Yellow curry paste
Alternate hues of this spice foundation are one of the greatest areas to seek for a red curry replacement.
Unlike its fiery red counterpart, which receives its color from dried red chiles, the yellow paste gets its trademark yellow color from the use of turmeric and is often more moderate in flavor.
You may use the alternative without worrying about the dish losing its integrity because of the change in texture. However, it may alter the color of your dish and make it less hot depending on how much you use.
Determine how much of a yellow hue you want your stew or sauce to have, and whether or not you want to add additional heat by increasing the amount of spices.
Two tablespoons of yellow curry paste may be used as a straight replacement for two teaspoons of red curry paste.
3. Red Chili Paste
Red chile paste is an essential ingredient for those who like Asian soups, stews, and curries.
It’s made using pantry staples like red chili peppers, garlic, shrimp/anchovy paste, and sour agents, and it’s a respectable stand-in for our topic leader.
There may be a wide variety of chili pastes available, each with its own distinct flavor and amount of heat. In comparison to red curry paste, the famous Korean chili paste Gochujang actually provides greater heat.
Therefore, be aware of the spiciness of the chili pastes you want to use as a substitute. Using a different Thai chili paste is recommended, but if you can’t find one, start with a lower quantity and increase gradually.
4. Curry paste
If you don’t have any red curry paste, you may use regular curry paste instead.
It won’t make your dish look or taste red, and it won’t have the pronounced flavor of red curry paste, but it will still be excellent.
Furthermore, it is inexpensive and can be found in the seasoning area of most supermarkets.
Curry paste is a staple in Indian cooking, but it may be used in place of regular soy sauce in any stir fry, stew, or marinade. You may use regular curry paste in lieu of red curry paste if the recipe asks for only one tablespoon.
5. Harissa Paste
While red curry paste is a staple in Thai cooking, harissa paste serves the same purpose in North African cooking. A lot of the same components as red curry paste may be found in this fiery condiment. These include red chilies, garlic, coriander, and citrus taste.
Due to the use of vinegar, harissa is often more acidic than red curry paste, and it also adds more heat and spice. Harissa packs a serious punch, therefore it may not be the best option for those who can’t handle spicy foods.
Harissa paste, despite its high degree of heat, tastes quite similar to curry paste and may be used as a suitable alternative in Thai recipes. Harissa, much like curry pastes, may be found in the International section of most grocery stores.
Keep in mind that harissa has more oil than red curry paste, thus it will water down sauces even more. A recipe’s proportions may need tweaking. Use just half of what you think you would need at first, and then work up from there.
Harissa is familiar with the appearance and consistency of Thai red curry paste; nevertheless, its taste far surpasses that of its Thai counterpart. It’s not too dissimilar to its Southeast Asian version, sharing similar ingredients including dry chiles, citrus, garlic, and many warm spices. Two tablespoons of green curry paste may stand in for one tablespoon of red curry paste.
Shrimp paste, one of the key spices not present in harissa, gives red curry a richer umami taste and a little of sweetness. You may improve the taste by adding fish sauce if you have some on hand.
Also, keep in mind that harissa is hotter than red curry paste. If you’re sensitive to heat, add one tablespoon at a time and give it a taste before adding more.
7. Tomato Paste
It’s possible to make a delicious substitute for red curry paste using tomato paste. It is juicy and has a fresh, tomato flavor. It’s sweet and makes a good foundation for other spices.
As you say, there is a noticeable contrast in flavor between tomato paste and red curry paste. But if you spice it up with some red chili flakes and ginger garlic paste, it becomes an excellent replacement.
More importantly, however, Tomato paste may have as much or as little of this condiment added to it as you wish, depending on your tolerance for heat and taste.
Hopefully, you’ve learned all you needed to know about red curry paste and have been able to discover an appropriate replacement. Whether or if this was helpful, please share your thoughts below.
Though versatile, red curry paste is at its finest when combined with new ingredients to create a traditional Thai curry.
Because of the shrimp, red curry paste is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. However, most of the alternatives provided are vegetarian and will give your dishes an extra dose of flavor. See you in the future!