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khao soi curry paste in a class bowl
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2.47 from 15 votes

Khao Soi Curry Paste

Khao Soi paste makes a mild curry flavored with turmeric, ginger, and cardamom, and is the heart of the addictive Thai Noodle Soup from Northwestern Thailand - Khao Soi (Chiang Mai) Noodles.All you need is a high speed blender or food processor to make this delicious curry paste yourself.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: how to make Thai curry paste, thai curry paste
Servings: 12
Calories: 36kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00


  • Kitchen Shears
  • Skillet
  • Blender or Food Processor


  • 4 large Dried Red Chili Peppers (look for New Mexico or California Chili Peppers that are about 4 inches long; see note)
  • 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil (coconut, vegetable, grapeseed, or avocado oil)
  • ¼ cup diced Fresh Turmeric
  • ¼ cup diced Shallot
  • 2 tablespoon diced Ginger
  • 2 teaspoon diced Garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • Water, as needed (see note)


  • Use kitchen shears to slice the dried chilis down the center. Shake out some or all of the seeds. (The more seeds you leave in, the spicier your curry paste will be.) Cut the chili peppers into large pieces and soak them in water for 20 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
  • Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add turmeric, shallot, ginger, and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, until lightly browned in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Transfer ingredients from skillet to a blender or food processor. Add salt, curry powder, ground cardamom, and ground coriander.
  • Drain the chili peppers well and add them to the blender.
  • Blend everything together, adding just enough water as is needed to enable blending, until a smooth even paste forms.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 year.


Dried Red Chili Peppers - I use New Mexico or California dried chili peppers in all of my Thai curry pastes. These are larger and have a more mild spice level than dried Thai chilis / Bird’s eye chilis. These will give your curry paste great chili flavor without overwhelming spiciness. Remember that you can always add spice to your curry later but you can never remove spice once it's in there. I always start on the mild / medium side. 
Sources: Over the years, as I have tested and tweaked this Khao Soi Curry Paste, I turned to several sources for tips and guidance. Namely, High Heel Gourmet and Serious Eats.


Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg