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Yellow curry paste is very versatile and adaptable; it may be used in a range of meat, vegetable, seafood, noodle, and soup dishes, among others.

This sweet-scented yellow curry paste makes Thai cuisine so simple and fast to prepare, particularly if you prepare it ahead of time.

But what if you run out of this paste during cooking, or if you just want to try something different? The good news is that there are many yellow curry paste replacements available.

Curry powder, red curry paste, green curry paste, and handmade Thai yellow curry paste are all excellent replacements for yellow curry paste.

Use it immediately in a tasty Thai curry, or preserve it in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.

What is Yellow Curry Paste?

Yellow curry paste is one of three Thai curry pastes (the others being red and green), and it is also the mildest of the three.

Yellow curry paste is made using turmeric, yellow chiles, fish sauce, galangal, lemongrass, and other spices.

Curry pastes are used as an ingredient in Thai soups, stews, and entrees. The paste is a well-ground blend of dried peppers and spices, and the spices used always define the final taste and color of the curry paste.

Best Yellow Curry Substitutes

1. Curry powder

Curry powder may be used in place of yellow curry paste. Although the taste profile may alter, a few tablespoons of curry powder will generally enough if you don’t have yellow curry paste on hand when cooking.

In general, 1 teaspoon curry powder should be substituted for 1 tablespoon yellow curry paste.

2. Thai red curry paste

Thai red curry paste is another great alternative to yellow curry paste. Red chili peppers, shrimp paste, lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaf, and galangal are all common components in Thai red curry paste.

If you’ve ever made Thai yellow curry paste at home, you’re probably acquainted with these red curry components. These recipes utilize almost identical components.

It’s worth noting that red curry paste is often hotter and chillier than yellow curry paste, so keep that in mind when incorporating it into your cooking. There are milder variants of Thai red curry paste available on the market.

3. Shrimp paste

Shrimp paste, also known as belacan, is a fermented mixture of crushed shrimp or krill with salt. It’s a staple item in Asian grocers, and it’s also available at supermarkets.

You may also substitute shrimp paste for the yellow curry paste. To obtain a more genuine flavor, combine it with garlic, kaffir lime leaf, and lemongrass.

4. Thai green curry paste

Thai green curry paste is quite similar to yellow curry paste; the only difference is that the latter is green owing to the use of green chilis in the preparation.

You may make a sweet-scented dish using green curry paste that also includes basil, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaf.

Most curries are green when compared to most curries, which are yellow when compared to most curries.

5. Pad Thai sauce

Pad Thai, which originated in Thailand, is a famous meal that combines salty, sweet, and sour flavors in one mouthful.

Typical components include palm sugar, which adds sweetness, tamarind paste, which adds sourness, and fish sauce, which adds saltiness.

Chili is often used in Pad Thai sauce, which is used in many Thai cuisines. Nonetheless, the chile in Pad Thai sauce is often milder than in red curry paste.

6. Laksa

Laksa is a noodle soup that originated from the descendants of early Chinese migrants who landed in Indonesia, Penang, Singapore, and Malacca. It may serve as a good alternative for yellow curry paste.

The laksa paste used to make the soup is often rich in fragrant Southeast Asian spices including lemongrass, turmeric root, galangal, and Kaffir lime; some of these components may also be found in yellow curry paste.

Pre-made laksa paste is widely available in Asian stores; nevertheless, handmade laksa paste always yields the greatest results. If you create fresh laksa paste, I suggest double the recipe.

Next, take half of the paste and freeze it in ice cube trays before transferring to a nice, freezer-safe bag. They may be stored in this manner for up to three months.

7. Home Made Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Making your own yellow curry paste is the closest and finest equivalent. Apart from lemongrass, the components for making your own handmade Thai yellow curry paste are readily available (which can be replaced with lemon zest).

To make your own yellow curry paste, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender with 3 ounces of coconut milk. The following components are included:

  • Yellow chilies
  • Lemongrass
  • Shallots
  • Chilies
  • Galangal
  • Coriander
  • Garlic
  • ground cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin seeds
  • Fish sauce
  • Turmeric
  • Shrimp paste
  • White pepper
  • Lime juice
  • Brown sugar
  • Tomato puree

Add additional coconut milk as needed to mix the ingredients into a homogeneous paste or sauce, and pulse until smooth.

A more thorough procedure is provided below:

Authentic Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Most pantry goods, as well as lemongrass, shallots, and ginger, may be used to produce this simple Thai yellow curry paste.

  • Course: Pantry Sauce Cuisine Thai
  • Keywords: easy curry paste recipe, homemade curry paste, Thai yellow curry
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Calories: 30kcal


  • 1 – 2 yellow chilies, sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 stalk lemongrass, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece of galangal, sliced
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1 large pinch of white pepper
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 to 5 ounces coconut milk, divided
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree


  • Gather all the ingredients listed above
  • Soften the chilies inside a bowl with hot water for about 3 minutes.
  • Trim off the root end and tough outer leaves of the lemongrass stalk
  • Use the white part only with a little of the green part, then cut it in half
  • Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender
  • Purée the mixture until a smooth paste is achieved
  • You can now use the paste in your favorite curry dish or store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for about 5 days. You can also freeze the paste in cubes and store it in a plastic bag for up to 2 months

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you use instead of yellow curry paste?

If you unexpectedly run out of yellow curry paste, the best yellow curry paste replacement is usually to prepare your own homemade curry paste. Just follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll be done in 15 minutes or less.

What is the difference between red and yellow curry paste?

The three Thai curry pastes (yellow, red, and green) have almost identical components. They are distinguished by their color, taste, and amount of spice. Red curry paste is the hottest of the three, green is the mildest, and yellow is somewhere in the middle.

Green curry paste is the most colorful curry paste and the most often used curry in Thai meals.

Can I use yellow curry powder instead of paste?

Sure, you may use yellow curry powder for the paste. 1 teaspoon curry powder may be substituted for 1 tablespoon curry paste.

What can I use if I don’t have curry paste?

If you don’t have all of the materials to create your own curry paste, you may use curry powder.

Is yellow curry the same as Panang?

Yellow curry gets its yellow hue and deep, savory taste from turmeric and dried curry. Panang curry, on the other hand, has a nutty, mellow flavor and the texture of roasted peanuts crushed into the curry paste.

What is Thai yellow curry called?

It’s named Kaeng lueang (Thai:), which translates to “yellow curry.” The meal is known as Kaeng som, or sour curry, in southern Thailand.

What does yellow curry paste taste like?

Yellow curry paste has a light, sweet flavor with a hint of spiciness. Curry powder contains cumin, coriander seeds, lemongrass, ginger or galangal, yellow or red chile, and garlic, in addition to turmeric.

What spice gives yellow curry its color?

Turmeric is primarily responsible for the color of yellow curry. Turmeric is responsible for the curry’s golden hue, which makes the meal so appealing.

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Can I substitute curry powder for yellow curry paste?

Can curry powder be substituted for curry paste? Because of the difference in taste profile and heat intensity, substituting curry paste for curry powder is not a smart idea. If you’re trying to make a classic Thai or Indian cuisine, this substitute will throw off the tastes.

What is an alternative to yellow curry powder?

If you don’t have any curry powder on hand, the ideal curry powder replacement is to prepare your own curry mix, like in the curry powder recipe above. If you don’t have most of the curry powder components on hand, a simple substitute is a mixture of powdered cumin and coriander.

What can I use if I don’t have curry paste?

Curry Paste

The flavor profile will be quite different, but if I’m craving curry and don’t have access to a decent curry paste, a few tablespoons of curry powder will generally enough. As a general guideline, 1 teaspoon curry powder equals 1 tablespoon curry paste.

Can you use curry powder in place of curry paste?

Curry Powder vs. Curry Paste

Curry paste contains entire chili peppers, but curry powder often does not, making the heat level in curry paste more powerful than that of curry powder. Curry paste is neither a replacement for curry powder, nor is it the other way around.

What is the closest thing to yellow curry paste?

Curry Powder (No. 1)

Curry powder unquestionably tops our list, owing to the incredible taste similarity they share. In reality, curry powder is a key component of yellow curry paste. This spice combination is often made up of many spices, including turmeric.

What is yellow curry paste made of?

What is the composition of yellow curry paste? It’s a blend of rich, earthy spices and flavors often found in curry. Turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, and curry powder are among the ingredients. Other noteworthy components include shrimp paste and dried red chilies for spiciness.

What gives yellow curry its flavor?

Turmeric is the key ingredient in this curry’s golden colour. The mildest curry is yellow curry, which is often prepared with coriander, cumin, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and yellow or red chile. This curry has a deep flavor with sweet and mild ingredients in addition to coconut milk.

What is the other name for yellow curry?

Kaeng lueang (Thai: ), which translates literally as “yellow curry” in Thai. “Thailand” is a Thai word that means “curry” in Thai.

What is yellow curry paste called?

The fresh aromatics used to massaman curry paste, on the other hand, are comparable to red curry paste. Yellow – Turmeric and curry powder are used to color prik gaeng garee, or yellow curry paste.

Is it worth making your own curry paste?

Now, if you haven’t already figured it out, curry paste is one of those flavor-boosting items that’s well worth creating yourself. And it’s not difficult to do.

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