Health Tips

The best possible substitute for red curry paste

If you want to impress your guests with delicious food, you must add curry paste to it. It can never go wrong. The heat and aroma of this amazing curry paste take the flavor profile of your dish to the next level. The ingredients required are turmeric, shrimp paste, lemongrass, red chili, salt, garlic cloves, and other aromatic spices. Once your curry paste gets ready, you can store it for later use. Within no time, your delicious dinner will be ready with 1 or 2 spoons of red paste in your curry or marinade. If you do not have confidence in your spice-handling skills to make a perfect curry paste, you can buy it from your neighborhood store. There are many Asian recipes where red curry paste gets used as a main ingredient. However, since it is so versatile for every palate, you can easily add this to any American dish as a marinade or dressing, if not curry. It is the best option to elevate the taste of a bland dish. Want to make a delicious curry but don’t have any of the necessary ingredients? Here, we’ll look at some substitutes for red curry paste that anyone can use in place of it at home.

The list of substitutes for red curry paste

1. Harissa

Harissa’s taste is much more favorable. It resembles red curry in appearance and consistency. It makes use of dried chiles, lemon, and garlic, along with several warm spices. Red curry’s rich umami taste and little sweetness come from shrimp paste. It is a main ingredient that is missing from this substitute for red curry paste. The fish sauce would be a great addition to help smooth out the taste. Keep in mind that Harissa is hotter than red paste. Add it a little at a time to check the flavor afterward if you’re sensitive to heat.

substitute for red curry paste

2. Curry paste with turmeric

Both curry pastes have distinct flavors and textures that set them apart. The taste profiles vary somewhat among them due to the use of turmeric. If you are searching for a substitute for red curry paste, one of the best options to explore is actually among the many colors of the spice base that you are already using. Turmeric is responsible for giving the yellow variant its distinctive color. The yellow paste is made with fresh lemongrass instead of dried red chilies and is less fiery. The substitute for red paste is of the same quality as the original. Thus, there shouldn’t be any problems adding it to your food. However, the quantity utilized might affect the appearance of the food. The heat level won’t be nearly as high. Consider how much of a difference a bit more golden hue might make in your soup or sauce. You can add a few pinches of spice if you want things to be very hot. A direct interchange may provide the finest outcomes. Substitute two teaspoons of the yellow paste for the red.

substitute for red curry paste

3. Sriracha

Compared to red, Sriracha is a very easy substitute for red curry paste to make. An excellent starting point because of the harmony between the heat, citrus zest, fruitiness, and acidity. However, it may become rather fiery if used in excess. If you’re used to using curry paste, start with a smaller amount. The use of fresh chiles in Sriracha, as opposed to dried ones, is a defining characteristic of the former. That makes the flavor more lively and fruity. However, if you need a quick solution using everyday items, try a combination of lime juice, black pepper, and, if you have it, some fresh ginger. You can do a lot with just a little fish sauce.

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4. Powdered curry

The red paste cannot be dried and stored for later use. However, you may get a similar taste using curry powder. There is a noticeable difference in taste between a dry spice combination and a paste. You may lose the rich flavor and vibrant red color in the translation. A taste test while cooking may be necessary. Season to taste; add extra salt. If you’re in a bind, this substitute for red curry paste will give your food the classic red curry taste. Be cautious not to let this flavor take over your dish while using it. The curry powder to paste ratio is around one teaspoon for each tbsp of paste called for in a recipe. This alternative is appropriate if you serve a meal with less color since it won’t affect flavor.

substitute for red curry paste

5. Tomato paste

The first thing that comes to mind when looking for a substitute for red curry paste could be tomato paste. The two have more similarities than you might expect. The ideal foundation for building on additional tastes strikes a balance between sweetness and tartness. It’s the same vibrant red hue, too. There’s no better option than tomato paste if you’re trying to mimic the color and consistency of your curry paste. You may purchase them in bulk at your local grocery store. The taste is something between sweet and sour. The absence of heat is, of course, a big consideration. Fortunately, there are many options for personalization. Red paste becomes at its spiciest when chilies are added to the mix. To complement the taste of the tomato sauce, you may add chili peppers or chili sauce instead. If you’re looking to spice things up and give your meal some extra bite, fresh chilis are a great addition.

tomato paste

6. Green Paste

Although green and red seem visually distinct, they share many of the same components. It is a crucial factor to take into account if you care about how your food looks. But if it’s simply about taste, feel free to switch things around. Substitute two spoonfuls of green paste for two teaspoons of red paste due to their equal heat intensity and texture. Although this substitute for red curry paste seems to be considerably hotter than the red type, you may use it in the same proportions. You may use it instead if you don’t have any curry paste but have the green kind. Original red spice paste delivers a fair kick when used to add heat. Reduce the amount used or combine it with a milder ingredient if you like a milder flavor. The green paste is spicier and has a more vegetable and acidic taste than the red. Taste is subjective, but it may be used in the same manner as the original.

green paste

How do you perfect your red curry paste?

  • Put dried peppers to use. Dried peppers are ideal when creating red paste for your curry at home. You must first soak them in steaming hot water. Soften and rehydrate them in the hot water. When the dried peppers have softened, you may continue with the process.
  • The greatest option is chili peppers. If you want the finest results, use dried peppers in this dish. They are readily available at most supermarkets. Red jalapeno or serrano peppers are great substitutes.
  • The citrus taste will be more pronounced if you add additional ingredients. You can easily create this taste in the curry paste you prepare by including either the zest of a lime or lemon juice among your components.  You may also use kaffir leaves or increase the quantity of cilantro by half.
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What are some of the several ways to use red curry paste?

Whether making a stir-fry or a broth-based dish, the red paste can amp up the flavor and spice. In addition, you may use the substitute for red curry paste to get a similar flavor profile and texture to your dish with some additional changes.

  • It pairs well with many proteins, including chicken, duck, beef, hog, and shrimp.
  • Stews, curry dishes, soups, salads, marinades, and sauces are just some dishes that it finds its way into. The aroma is familiar and foreign, with the warmth of tomato and exotic spices.
  • You may rub it on meat, fish, or poultry before marinating it.
  • Making a nice salad dressing with balsamic or cream will provide the desired outcome.
  • In addition, soups and stews benefit from adding curry paste at the start of cooking.

The red paste is not only delicious but also beneficial to your health in many ways. Capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers, has been demonstrated to increase metabolic rate and facilitate fat burning. It has been hypothesized that lemongrass has antidepressant and antimicrobial qualities. Both garlic and ginger have long been used to combat sickness. The curry paste has both taste and nutritional value when used in moderation.

Preserving your substitute for red curry paste

Freeze your curry paste for later use. Storing the curry paste you made in the freezer extends its shelf life significantly compared to keeping it in the fridge. It retains all of its deliciousness even after being frozen. Put your homemade curry paste into ice cube trays in the freezer for easy access. Take the trays out of the freezer after your substitute for red curry paste has frozen. Transfer the cubes to a container that can withstand freezing temperatures before returning them to the freezer. Roughly one spoonful of paste is in each ice cube.

Final words

The red paste seems to be a great addition to just about any meal. It tastes good with a lot of different things. If you do not have any red paste or just want to try something different, you can use any of the above substitutes for red curry paste. There are many other things to think about, and some of them work best when put together. Try different things in the kitchen to find the best curry paste to replace the red paste.

Arpita Das Gupta hails from the City of Taj Mahal, Agra; decided to become a full-time writer after quitting her job at a multinational organisation to pursue her dream. For the last six years, she has written on many aspects of modern life. Has a passion for writing about wellness, nutrition, culinary cultures, and everything in between. Also attended Integral University in Lucknow, where she earned a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics and Communications. Reading, traveling, trying out new recipes, and spending time with her kid are some of the favorite things to do.