As I’ve mentioned before, red curry paste is a great thing to have on hand for a quick weeknight dinner. Not to mention that it’s an extremely versatile ingredient to have around. You can add a tablespoon or two to dishes based on rice, noodles, vegetables, soups, curries, stir-fries, etc. You can get a prepared curry paste in the supermarket, but making your own allows you to adjust the heat level to your liking – and it’s so much more fun. Many of the ingredients are quite exotic, so you’ll have to get to know your local Asian supermarket quite well, but in most big cities it’s possible to find what you need. It’s worth it as homemade curry paste is so much more fragrant and inviting than store-bought. Finally, I prefer to pound mine with a mortar and pestle. It takes quite a bit of time and elbow grease, but it releases the oils much better, allowing for a more delicious final product. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, or the patience, you can also use a food processor. The vegetarian substitution I have done in this recipe is swapping miso for shrimp paste. You can also find a sauce called Golden Mountain Sauce which serves as a vegetarian alternative to shrimp paste. This recipe is adapted from taste.com.au "Basic Thai Red Curry Paste".