Hot and Sour Red Curry Sauce

 More Great Condiments

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
makes 2 1/2 cups


  • 1 small red bell pepper

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 small carrot, finely diced

  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

  • 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulbs only, thinly sliced crosswise

  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 lime leaf, thinly sliced (optional) or 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (1/3 cup)

  • One 13 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or other Asian chili sauce

  • Salt


  1. Roast the bell pepper directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning, until blackened all over. Transfer the pepper to a plate and let cool. Peel off the charred skin and discard the stem and seeds. Coarsely chop the pepper.

  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the carrot and roasted red pepper and cook over low heat until the carrot softens, about 5 minutes. Transfer the carrot and red pepper to a food processor and add the fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, lime leaf, paprika and ginger and process to a fine paste. Return to the saucepan. Stir in the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sambal oelek and season with salt.

Make Ahead

The curry can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

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