The Best Yellow Curry Paste Ever!

T his basic yellow curry paste recipe can be used for many different dishes from chicken, fish, or beef curries to the Khmer national dish, Amok. This is actually a Cambodian recipe but it can be used for many Thai curries with substitutions at the bottom of the page.

Yellow curry paste ingredients

We learned to make this paste at Baitong restaurant in Phnom Penh Cambodia. The chef there showed Chad this recipe and Chad made a chicken curry using it. In this recipe we have substituted Prahok which is a very smelly salted fermented fish paste for Belacan since Prahok is not as readily available in North America as Belacan or other fish pastes.



1                     2 inch piece (20g) fresh turmeric or 4g powdered

4                    Garlic cloves

3                    Red chilli’s with seeds

3                    Shallots

2                    Lemongrass sticks with woody outside removed

8                   Kaffir lime leaves

5    grams     Belacan or Asian dried shrimp paste

3    grams     Paprika

20 grams     Ginger

20 grams     Galangal

30 grams     Palm sugar or castor sugar

40 ml           Fish sauce

2 Tbsp         Vegetable oil for frying

50 ml           Water


Place first eleven ingredients in the modern day mortar and pestle or food processor and blitz for at least two minutes then scrape the sides, add the fish sauce and blend for another two minutes or until you have a fairly smooth paste.

In a hot wok or pan, add the cooking oil and fry off your paste being careful not to burn. After about 2 minutes add water to stop the curry from cooking.

Voila! This is what it looks like after it's blended

Voila! This is what it looks like after it’s blended



This is a basic recipe but you can play around with the ingredients as you wish. You can also use this as a base for Thai curry.



Red curry paste – Omit the turmeric and add more red chili or for even a more red colour, add ground chilli powder.

Green curry paste – Omit the turmeric and use green chilli and add more lime leaves and you can add cilantro (coriander) as well as the roots and stems.


You can also watch a video of how to make Cambodian yellow chicken curry as well as the recipe.

Any more recipes you would like to see? Let us know!



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World travellers, Chefs and television personalities. Without Borders take food, travel and adventure and make short videos that has been turned in to a television series called Chefs Run Wild.


  1. Cambodian Yellow Chicken Curry Recipe - November 22, 2013

    […] 1                     Yellow curry paste recipe […]

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