5 Ways to Use Thai Curry Paste

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

That little jar of red or green Thai curry sitting in your fridge adds a powerful punch of spicy flavor to whatever it’s added to. And while it’s great for making curries, don’t be afraid to use it in other dishes too — here are some of our favorites ways to use it.

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(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

1. Soups

The beauty of soups that use Thai curry paste is that you usually don’t have to simmer them for very long since the paste is so flavorful by itself. Many soups combine Thai curry with coconut milk since the milk adds richness and tempers the spiciness of the paste.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

2. Curries and Stews

Probably the most common use for Thai curry paste is in curries and stews. Cook the curry paste in a little oil first to bring out its flavors, then coat proteins — like chicken, pork, or tofu — and vegetables with the warmed paste before slow cooking until everything is flavorful and tender.

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(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

3. Noodles

I love how noodles soak up any sauces, so take a Thai curry sauce and serve it over noodles instead of rice for a change of pace. You can also use Thai curry as a base for stir-fried noodles; just thin it out with some broth or coconut milk before you toss everything together.

4. Salad Dressing

For a spicy salad dressing, blend Thai curry into a vinaigrette or whisk it into yogurt or even mayonnaise for a creamier salad dressing. Use this dressing for green salads, cold noodle salads, or even as a dip for raw vegetables. Make sure to balance out your dressing with some acid, like vinegar or lime juice, and some sweetness if needed.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

5. Seafood Dishes

Thai curry paste can add tons of flavor to seafood dishes, especially more mild-tasting seafood, like white fish or shrimp. Spread it on fish before roasting or steaming, or use it in the saucy base of a mussels or clam dish.

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