If you are a fan of Asian food, I am sure Thai food must be one of your favorites. Thai food is generally so refreshing and full of spice! Now, if you like Thai cuisine, I am sure Thai curries must top your list.
Which Thai curry is your favorite? Mine definitely is yellow Thai curry. Since I am a little low on spice tolerance, the mild flavor of yellow Thai curry is divine for me! Plus, it is so easy to make if you have yellow curry paste handy!
In case you don’t have yellow curry paste handy and still want to make yellow Thai curry, you have definitely come to the right article. This article lists the best substitute options for yellow curry paste!
What are the best yellow curry paste substitutes? The best yellow curry paste substitutes are red curry paste, green curry paste, pad thai sauce, laksa, Panang curry paste, and vindaloo paste.
Although, before we get to the substitutes, let us explore yellow curry paste a little more. This will help you understand it better.
Quick Peek: Yellow Curry Paste
This section has information about yellow curry paste, its flavor, texture, uses, and even nutritional values. Read on to know all about it!
What Is Yellow Curry Paste?
Yellow curry paste is made with yellow chilies, fish sauce, galangal, lemongrass, and spices such as turmeric. It is one of the three main Thai curry pastes, which are red, yellow, and green curry pastes. Yellow curry paste is the mildest of them.
Yellow curry paste is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle. It usually remains moist throughout the process. Its uses, however, are not limited to curries. It is a great addition to various soups, stews, and stir-fried dishes!
Describing Yellow Curry Paste: Flavor And Texture
Yellow curry paste has a thick, smooth texture. It is yellow in color due to its main ingredient, which is yellow chilies. However, despite the addition of yellow chilies and various other spices, yellow curry paste has a mild flavor.
Yellow curry paste is not vegetarian or vegan due to the addition of fish sauce. However, there are various vegetarian and vegan options of the same easily available in markets. Yellow curry paste is completely gluten-free.
Uses Of Yellow Curry Paste
Yellow curry paste was originally used as a base for Thai yellow curry. However, it is now used as a flavoring agent in various Asian and non-Asian cuisines. When paired with coconut milk especially, yellow curry paste tastes divine!
Yellow curry paste makes a great addition to stir-fried food and marinades and can basically be added to anything to add flavor. It goes well with scrambled eggs, can be used as a spread for various sandwiches and wraps, and can even be mixed in a salad dressing!
Yellow Curry Paste On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
As it is a flavoring, yellow curry paste is usually used in very small quantities in most recipes. Hence, it does not really make an important source of any vital nutrients. However, it still does carry certain vitamins and minerals.
Yellow curry paste has vitamins A and C along with small quantities of minerals like calcium and iron. It does not have any proteins or carbohydrates and is also fat-free.
Yellow curry paste, however, does have a high amount of sodium. So this is something worth remembering, especially for people with blood pressure issues.
That was some information on yellow curry paste. Now that you know all about it, let me take you to the main attraction of this article; the best yellow curry paste substitutes.
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9 Best Yellow Curry Paste Substitutes
Now, let’s see the some alternatives for yellow curry paste that you can use. The best substitutes for yellow curry paste are given below.
1. Red Curry Paste
Red curry paste is one of the three main Thai curry pastes. It has essentially almost the same ingredients as yellow curry paste. This makes it a great substitute for yellow curry paste.
Red curry paste is made with dried red chilies and generally has a higher heat content than yellow curry paste. Moreover, it is shockingly red in color. Hence, red curry paste might not make the best substitute for color-specific dishes.
That being said, due to a similar taste profile, it can still make a great substitute for various dishes where color isn’t too important.
Also, considering the fact that it is much hotter in taste, try starting with half the quantity of yellow curry paste given in the recipe. You can always adjust the flavor later by adding some more if it turns out to be too mild for your taste! Here is the recipe for Thai coconut curry chicken made using red curry paste.
2. Curry Powder
Curry powder is generally used in Indian cooking. A great mix of various spices makes an extremely flavorful dish. This makes it a good substitute for yellow curry paste.
Curry powder is generally stronger and hotter in taste as compared to the mild yellow curry paste. Hence, usually, a few teaspoons of curry powder do the trick when being used as a substitute.
The rule of thumb here is to substitute every tablespoon of yellow curry paste with a teaspoon of curry powder. Here’s how you can make flavorful Iranian chicken curry using curry powder.
3. Green Curry Paste
Green curry paste also generally has the same ingredients as yellow curry paste. It is, however, made with green chilies. Since it shares a similar flavor profile, making for a great yellow curry paste substitute.
Again, green curry paste might not be the best substitute for a color-specific food. However, it does give a very similar taste profile and can be used easily in any recipe that is not color specific. It is also milder than red curry paste, so it can very well be used as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio. Here is the recipe for Thai green eggplant curry for you.
4. Vindaloo Paste
Vindaloo paste is extremely popular in Indian food. It is flavor-packed with spices and generally can be used for any curry. This makes it a great yellow curry paste substitute.
Vindaloo paste, just like red curry paste, is red in color and has a higher heat content than yellow curry paste. Hence, it must be used carefully to substitute for the mild yellow curry paste.
You can easily combine the vindaloo paste with some turmeric to give it a yellow tinge. Moreover, you can add some shrimp paste and lime juice to it, which will give you a flavor profile quite similar to yellow curry paste.
5. Massaman Curry Paste
Massaman curry paste usually creates a fusion of Indian and Thai cooking. It shares a lot of ingredients with yellow curry paste, making it a great substitute.
Massaman curry paste generally does have a deeper flavor than yellow curry paste. This is because of the addition of whole spices like star anise and cardamom. Moreover, it is higher in the heat content, too, due to the presence of red chilies.
While using it as a substitute for yellow curry paste, make sure you gradually add the massaman curry paste. This will stop the curry from being too savory or spicy.
You can stop once you reach the desired flavor. Massaman curry paste goes well with stews, soups, marinades, and curries.
6. Panang Curry Paste
Panang curry paste is another variety of Thai curry pastes. It also has a lot of ingredients in common with yellow curry paste. Hence, it makes for a good yellow curry paste substitute.
Panang curry paste is made with dried red chilies, just like red curry paste. However, it does have an addition of a few other spices to it. The best part about Panang curry paste is that it is mild in flavor despite the red chilies!
Hence, its flavor profile and heat level match that of yellow curry paste. If you want the yellow color as well, you can add a dash of turmeric to the paste, and it is generally good to go.
7. Laksa Paste
Laksa paste used for making laksa soup is usually rich in aromatic ingredients, such as lemongrass, turmeric root, galangal, and Kaffir lime. Some of these ingredients are also found in yellow curry paste. Hence, it makes a great substitute.
Laksa paste is usually a little hotter in taste than yellow curry paste. So, it must be used carefully while using as a substitute. However, one added advantage of laksa paste is that it gives a similar color as yellow curry paste!
Laksa paste is usually a little more oily than yellow curry paste. Hence, it sometimes might not make the best substitute in curries. However, it can make a good substitute for soups, stews, and marinades.
8. Shrimp Paste
Shrimp paste is well-grounded shrimp that is further mixed with salt and fermented. It has a pungent, fishy taste. Hence, it can be used as a substitute for yellow curry paste.
Shrimp paste might not match the flavor profile of yellow curry paste too much. However, if you do have some handy, you can blend it with garlic, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass. This will give it a flavor profile closer to yellow curry paste. Shrimp paste is also a substitute for anchovies. Here is a list of anchovies substitutes for you.
9. Pad Thai Sauce
Pad Thai sauce is made with fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, and tamarind. It is very popular in Thai cuisine, especially to make pad Thai noodles. It has a salty, sweet, and sour taste.
Pad Thai sauce might not be the first substitute that comes to mind, especially in curries. However, for marinades and stir-fried food, it is a good substitute for yellow curry paste.
Are you still confused about which substitute would work best? For that, I have broken it down further for you.
Most Suitable: The most suitable substitute for yellow curry paste is the green curry paste.
Easily Available: The most easily available substitute for yellow curry paste is the red curry paste.
Best Flavor Profile: Panang curry paste would give the best flavor profile.
Other Food Substitutes You Can Try
Yellow Curry Paste Substitutes
- Red Curry Paste
- Curry Powder
- Green Curry Paste
- Vindaloo Paste
- Massaman Curry Paste
- Panang Curry Paste
- Laksa Paste
- Shrimp Paste
- Pad Thai Sauce
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
As we have reached the end of this article, I hope it has helped you find the best substitute for yellow curry paste. Yellow curry paste can be used to make anything. However, it works best when paired with fresh meat and vegetables to form a delicious curry.
Yellow curry paste is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. However, quite a lot of the substitutes given are vegetarian and would work extremely well in most recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is yellow curry paste made of?
Yellow curry paste is made with yellow chilies, lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce, and spices including turmeric.
Is yellow curry powder the same as yellow curry paste?
They are essentially the same thing. Just that one is in a powder form whereas the other is in a paste form.
Is yellow curry paste very hot?
No, yellow curry paste is in fact quite mild.
Can I use yellow curry paste in place of red?
Yes, the two are interchangeable in various recipes.