If you're a fan of spicy food, then you're in for a treat! This Thai Jungle curry paste is the base for the famous Thai dish, Jungle curry. This simple paste can take your dishes from ordinary to extraordinary with vibrant flavors and enticing aromas. Make it in 15 minutes!
Another authentic Thai recipe using Jungle curry paste is Pad Ped Gai, a delicious and spicy Thai stir-fry dish. Give it a try! You can also use Thai jungle curry paste in this Thai catfish stir-fry dish.
For more Thai curry pastes, give these authentic recipes a try. Thai red curry paste, green curry paste, yellow curry paste, Panang curry paste, Massaman paste, Prikhing paste, and Choo Chee curry paste.
- What is Jungle Curry Paste?
- Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Ingredients for Jungle Curry Paste
- How to Make Gaeng Pa Paste
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Ways to Use Jungle Curry Paste
- Variations and Substitutes
- Storing Leftovers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Tasty Recipes You'll Love
- Thai Jungle Curry Paste
- More Thai Curry Pastes to Try
- Thai Curries You'll Love
What is Jungle Curry Paste?
Jungle Curry Paste is the heart and soul of the Thai Jungle Curry recipe. It's a spicy, aromatic paste made from various ingredients like red and green peppers, lemongrass, galangal, finger roots, shrimp paste, and more.
Jungle Curry is sometimes known as "Kaeng Pa" in Thai cuisine. It's a fiery, vibrant curry that stands out from the milder, more popular Thai curries. The jungle curry typically has fresh green peppercorns, Thai eggplants, tiny pea eggplant, baby sweetcorn, basil, and other herbs and spices.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Versatile. Jungle Curry Paste is like a kitchen chameleon, ready to blend into any dish you want. It's perfect for curries, soups, marinades, or even stir-fries. Every home cook needs this versatile paste in their pantry.
- It's an easy recipe! Making authentic Thai flavors at home has never been easier. With Jungle Curry Paste, you can take your taste buds on a culinary adventure, even if you're not a pro chef.
- Healthy and Chemical-Free. No more mysterious additives or preservatives. Jungle Curry Paste is about making healthy, wholesome dishes without chemicals or weird stuff.
- Fresh and Aromatics. Get ready for a burst of fresh and aromatic flavors. This paste is packed with fragrant herbs and spices to make your dishes smell and taste incredible.
- Spicy but customizable! Spicy food lovers, this one's for you! If not, you can adjust the spice levels with the amount of chilis used in this recipe!
Ingredients for Jungle Curry Paste
Creating this magical paste requires a harmonious blend of flavors and aromatics. Here's what goes into the making of Jungle Curry Paste:
- Dried red peppers, adding a fiery kick to the paste. Adjust the amount as needed for your spice level.
- Fresh Thai green peppers. Use fresh or frozen Thai bird's eye chilis.
- Lemongrass. Infusing a citrusy, herbal note.
- Galangal. A root with a distinct, citrusy-piney flavor. Ginger is not recommended for substitutions.
- Cilantro roots or stems. I used frozen cilantro roots from the summer when the roots were available. Read more about Thai herbs here.
- Whole white peppercorns. Black peppercorns are not recommended.
- Whole coriander seeds. Providing earthy undertones. Read this helpful blog post about Thai spices.
- Kaffir lime zest or substitute 4 kaffir lime leaves: Bringing a refreshing, citrusy aroma.
- Kra Chai, or Chinese keys, is a rooted rhizomes herb used in many Thai and other Asian cuisine. They are adding a mild, ginger-like zest.
- Shallots. Enhancing the paste's sweet and mild onion flavor.
- Garlic. Amplifying the savory notes.
- Salt. Balancing and intensifying flavors.
- Shrimp paste. It adds an umami depth. Skip if you prefer a vegetarian or vegan version of the paste.
How to Make Gaeng Pa Paste
Creating Jungle Curry Paste is a straightforward process that pays off with exceptional flavors:
Step 1: Soak the dried chilis in warm water for 15-20 minutes.
Step 2: Roast the seeds and grind them in a spice grinder. This step releases their aromatic oils and boosts their flavors.
Step 3: You have two options here:
Option 1 combines all ingredients in a spice grinder or a small food processor, creating a smooth, vibrant paste.
Option 2 takes you on a more traditional route using a stone mortar and pestle, which imparts a rustic charm and depth to the paste. Pound together until you have a smooth paste. Pound 2-3 ingredients at a time to help speed up the paste. But if you want a strong forearm workout, pound it all together.
Step 4: Once your Jungle curry paste is ready, it's versatile so that you can use it in various dishes. You can store any leftovers for up to 2 weeks, allowing you to embark on culinary adventures whenever the mood strikes.
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Use a spice grinder in batches if you don't have a small enough food processor. Then, combine it all in a small bowl to get a good mix of the 2-3 batches in one.
- Choose the number of dried red long peppers and fresh Thai green peppers based on your preferred spice level. Removing the seeds of the peppers helps reduce the spiciness as well. Use kitchen gloves if de-seeding.
- The fragrance of kaffir lime zest is irreplaceable, but if unavailable, zest from regular limes can be a substitute. Or use kaffir lime leaves instead.
- Shrimp paste is an acquired taste; use it conservatively to avoid overpowering the paste with its umami richness. Skip if you want a vegan version.
Ways to Use Jungle Curry Paste
Jungle Curry Paste isn't just a one-trick pony. It can enhance various dishes, from hearty curries and soups to marinades that transform meats, and it can be an indispensable partner in creating lip-smacking stir-fries. Most especially, use this paste with Thai jungle curry.
Variations and Substitutes
While Jungle Curry Paste is unique in its own right, you can always experiment with its ingredients to create your signature version. Adjust the level of spiciness, the depth of flavors, and the intensity of aromatics to match your palate.
Store your homemade Jungle Curry Paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can last up to two weeks, ready to immediately infuse your dishes with authentic Thai flavors. Storing the paste in smaller glass jars helps with using the paste in a small amount and keeps the rest frozen for the next use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Jungle Paste, commonly known as Jungle Curry Paste, is a vital component of Thai cuisine. It's a fragrant blend of herbs and spices to prepare Jungle Curry, a distinctive and spicy Thai dish.
Jungle Curry comprises coconut milk, Jungle Curry Paste, and meats or vegetables. It's distinctively spicy, aromatic, and often includes ingredients like bamboo shoots, Thai eggplants, and kaffir lime leaves.
Jungle Curry is a healthy choice, especially with vegetables and lean protein. It's packed with aromatic herbs and spices, offering flavor and potential health benefits. If you use homemade jungle curry paste like this one, it's even healthier with all the natural ingredients.
You can find Jungle Curry Paste in many Asian grocery stores or purchase it online from reputable brands. Look for high-quality options to ensure an authentic taste. Maeri and Mae Ploy brands are my go-to if I don't have time to make my own paste.
More Tasty Recipes You'll Love
- Thai Green Curry: A creamy and fragrant curry with the distinctive flavors of green curry paste.
- Red Curry paste. It is one of the most popular Thai curry pastes in Thai cuisine.
- Pad Prik Khing is a savory Thai curry dish with snake beans or long green beans and shrimp.
- Gai Pad Krapao with ground chicken and holy basil.
Incorporate Jungle Curry Paste into these recipes for a Thai culinary journey that will tantalize your taste buds and transport you to the jungles of Thailand.Print
More Thai Curry Pastes to Try
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Thai Curries You'll Love
Try these popular Thai curries on the blog now. Tasty and easy to make!