3 November 2022

The 11 Best Green Curry Paste Substitutes for Your Recipes

By Killian

Green curry is one of the most popular curry dishes, and while many types of curry started in India, Thailand is also responsible for many truly delicious curry dishes.such as red and yellow curry.

Of all the types offered, green curry is possibly one of the most prevalent in Thai cuisine.

Due to its specialized ingredients and a rather difficult cooking process that involves the use of coconut oil, sometimes green curry can be quite hard to come by.

Therefore, today we have prepared a list of the best substitutes for green curry paste that you can use to get that same experience at times when you don’t have a green curry on hand.

The best substitute for green curry paste is Thai red curry paste. Alternatively, you can also substitute Thai red curry paste, chermoula, or Thai yellow curry paste for the green curry paste. Finally, if you need the same level of spiciness, you can substitute the green curry paste with curry powder, Panang curry paste, and green Harissa paste.

The best substitutes for green curry paste

It is called green curry because of the green hue of the sauce, which is due to ingredients like coriander, makrut lime, and basil, which are combined with various other ingredients, including the all-important green chilies.

Due to the heavy use of green chilies, which tend to lean towards the medium heat zone, green curries are often quite hot as well.

It is served in the same way as any other curry, with some type of protein that can range from chicken to fish, lots of vegetables and a side of long-grain white rice.

But of course, many restaurants have their own variations, so the taste of green curry can vary greatly from restaurant to restaurant, as each place seems to have their own idea of ​​what the perfect curry tastes like.

So in our substitutes, we have tried to offer a number of alternatives ranging from broad substitutes to items that can help emulate specific flavor tones of green curry paste. Whether it’s the heat, the strong cilantro flavor, or the thick, rich sauce.

1. Curry powder

What curry powder and green curry paste have in common is that they both use too many ingredients, making them a pain in the ass to make fresh at home.

But one thing you can trust is how accessible curry powder is, while green curry may not be available in every store. You should have no problem finding curry powder for your dish.

Curry powder uses many of the same basic ingredients, including coriander, cumin, garlic, and of course, chili peppers, to provide its distinctive flavor. So while it doesn’t come in as thick a sauce as green curry, it will taste very similar.

2. Thai Red Curry Paste

Another incredibly popular choice among purveyors of Thai cuisine. It is remarkably similar to green curry, especially in texture, as it is fried in coconut butter in a similar way.

It also uses many of the same key ingredients, which means it should be pretty similar from a taste standpoint as well.

Now, what differs is, as you may have deduced from the name, in the color. While green curry gets its color from the use of green chillies, red curry has a deeper red color due to the use of red chillies.

In general, red chili tends to be a bit hotter than green, so be careful how much you use. You can choose to simply use less, or if you want the volume of liquid to be the same, consider diluting it with more coconut butter or even water.

3. Panang Curry Paste

Although its flavor is not as close to green curry as red curry paste, Panang deserves a mention as it uses many of the same base ingredients as green curry.

But on top of that, many “extras” are often added to Panang curry, which can include things like lime, cloves, and even peanuts.

The best way to think of it is as a substitute of the type “and a little more”.

4. Green harissa paste

Green harissa paste contains loads of herbs, green spices, oil, and roasted peppers. It often includes a few extra things, like garlic and onion.

Its green color makes it an ideal substitute visually, and the oil gives it that slightly richer, thicker viscosity. However, the lack of coconut oil takes away from that buttery flavor a bit.

But overall it works really well and that wonderful jalapeño flavor goes well with any dish that green curry is traditionally used for.

A good tip to bring it a bit closer is to add a bit more prawn paste, if you have any available, to bring the flavor a bit closer to that of a regular green curry.


We have already found that there are other types of curries that share similar flavor profiles. But what if you run out of curry?

Well, this is where something like Chermoula can come in handy.

Although her recipes are extensive, as they often vary from place to place, the main ingredients, which include garlic, cumin, coriander, and lemon, combined with ground chilies, make it share quite a few flavors with green curry.

Since it’s designed as a marinade and seasoning, it won’t have that buttery thickness and will instead turn out a bit oilier, so as long as that’s okay for the dish you’re making, it’s definitely something to keep in mind!

6. Laksa Curry Paste

Laksa curry is a curry dish from Southeast Asia that is often served with noodles. We associate it with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Although it has a different color thanks to the use of red chili, it shares quite a few ingredients with the green curry, putting it at least on the same level of flavor. Especially since it usually also contains that special touch of coconut.

Plus, it’s one of the most popular dishes in Southeast Asia and arguably much easier to come by than other types of curry paste, so you should be able to find it at your local grocery store in the imported section with no problem.

7. Lemongrass Paste

Although lemongrass is just one of the ingredients commonly used in curries, lemongrass paste is something quite different.

It is pre-blended with many other flavorings, including jalapeno, which gives it that all-important mild to medium heat. It’s definitely not a perfect substitute flavor-wise, but it’s close enough that you can get by with this if you’re stuck.

It’s not as easy to come by as some of the other curry pastes on this list, so if you find one in the store, it’s worth grabbing.

8. Vindaloo Paste

Normally, in any prepared vindaloo paste that you buy, there is already some curry paste inside. So that makes her a reasonable substitute right away.

Plus, it also uses coconut milk for the nice butter, as well as some delicious caramelized onions, jalapenos, garlic, and a few other spices.

In general, it is strikingly similar to green curry and is a perfectly suitable substitute.

9. Homemade Thai Green Curry Paste

Green curry uses many different spices, chilies, and ingredients.

Separately though, they are all fairly common and you should be able to get them at any good supermarket. So if you manage to make a small collection over many trips to the store, you may find yourself in a situation where you have enough ingredients at home to make it yourself.

The preparation process isn’t overly difficult, so if you’re a bit more serious about cooking, this is definitely a method worth pursuing.

10. Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Many of the substitutes we’ve listed so far are on the spicier side of things, typically using hotter red chilies simply because they’re so common and affordable.

The yellow curry is a bit milder, with less heat and more of a focus on that sweet sauce that uses things like turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, and curry powder.

If you don’t think it’s spicy enough, you can add some chili on your own.

11. Massaman Paste

Another variation on the many other curry pastes listed here, it once again shares many common ingredients with green curry paste, and despite having its own special flavor, it will make a suitable substitute.

It is also quite common and easy to find in any Asian supermarket.

How to choose a substitute for green curry

As you can see, there are many options available when it comes to choosing a suitable substitute for green curry paste.

Many other types of curries or chutneys share common qualities in terms of the ingredients used, giving them a similar taste, while also retaining their own personal touch.

So, depending on the type of food you prepare, one type of substitute may be more appropriate than another, so let’s see which ones may be the best based on a number of criteria.


Our recommendation in terms of trying to get the closest and most accurate flavor is red curry paste. It uses almost the same ingredients, but is generally a bit spicier due to the red chili that is used.

But this can be easily diluted if needed, or you can use less.


For this, the most ideal substitute is homemade Thai green curry paste.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to make, but if you can get all the ingredients together it will be a perfect substitute.


The best substitute if you’re looking to match the same heat levels is plain curry powder, as it’s available in a range of different heat levels and, like green curry, can vary greatly from brand to brand and from country to country. restaurant to another.


Once again, curry powder is clearly the best option in this case, it is so common that you will be able to find it in all good grocery stores and supermarkets. You won’t even have to go to the import section.

Our best choice

Our number one pick for the most ideal substitute for green curry paste is Thai Red Curry Paste.

This is because the flavor profile is so close to that of green curry, that you may only be interested in the extra heat it can offer due to the red chili. Or maybe it’s something you prefer, in which case, feel free to leave it as is!