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Khmer Red Curry

A classic Cambodian red curry

Khmer Red Curry

Khmer red curry paste (kroeung) can be made in advance and any leftover can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days or, it freezes well

Curry paste ingredients

2 sticks of lemongrass, outer leaves discarded and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves
Zest of half a lime
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bird’s eye chilli
2 dried red peppers (I dried my own by quartering and deseeding and cooking on a baking tray in a cool oven for 4-6 hours – until they are dry)


Blend the paste ingredients (by whatever means) until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water if it isn’t blending well. Paste should be deep red and smooth.

Khmer red curry

Curry ingredients

8 chicken thighs on the bone, each cut into two pieces (Any other meat or fish is fine or simply omit it for a vegetarian version.)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp red kroeung paste
large onion cut into large chunks
8 french beans cut into 2 cm pieces
1 small aubergine cut into 2 cm pieces
1 medium sweet potato cut into 2 cm pieces or 1 potato cut into 2 cm pieces
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 tbsp fish sauce (to taste)
2 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar if you can’t find palm)
250 ml coconut milk/cream
250 ml. water


1. Heat the oil and paste in a large heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Stir for one minute.
2. Add the chicken and 100 ml coconut and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the vegetables and stir.
4. Add water, remaining coconut and season with fish sauce, salt and sugar. Stir and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Traditionally (and yes it is traditional in Cambodia, this Khmer red curry is served with thick slices of French bread), alternatively, serve with rice or noodles.

Eaten on All Points East Cambodia Tours.  All Points East also arrange Khmer cookery classes.