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Oct 3, 2009 08:10 AM

Mae Ploy curry paste - where to find it?

Does anyone know where to find Mae Ploy curry paste (specifically green, red and massuman) in the greater Boston area? I'm sure the SE Asian markets in Quincy and Lowell have it, but somewhere closer to Boston/Cambridge would be great. I couldn't find it at the C-Mart on Washington St in Chinatown, but perhaps I didn't look hard enough?

Here's a picture:

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  1. The only place that I know that has a steady supply (and the most varieties) is Kam Man in Quincy. I had luck finding it at Super 88 in Allston a couple of times, but now with the change of ownership, who knows. C-Mart had it in the past on random occasions, but never was there when I needed it most. Ming's had it years ago but it was expired (go figure because the stuff has a two year shelf life.) Good luck!

    9 Replies
    1. re: Chrispy75

      I haven't bought curry paste since the restock, but I can say that they Mae Ploy curry paste was one of the last things available at Allston Super88 before the takeover, so I'm sure you'll find it there now...

      1. re: galleygirl

        JUst got back from Hong Kong Market, the former Super88Allston, and they have all of them, in all sizes....

        1. re: galleygirl

          Yup, found them there yesterday. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Also checked out Sunrise Market, which doesn't have Mae Ploy curry paste, but has a great selection of relatively hard-to-find Thai items, including:

          Healthy Boy fish sauce (way better than three crabs or other common brands)
          Nang Fah fried shallots (also far superior to others)
          Frozen krachai (fingerroot) and frozen thai galangal (the reddish kind) - both essential to curry pastes
          Mae Ploy coconut milk - the large cans, which have a much higher cream content than others. Perfect for rich, dry curries and desserts.

          They didn't have any kaffir lime leaves or holy basil (nor did Super 88, or any of the Chinatown markets) - still on the lookout for those.

          1. re: OakTownHound

            Yeah, I was on the look out for lime leaves yesterday,and couldn't find them...
            Since you seem to know Thai ingredients, is there a difference between Thai shrimp paste and the Chinese kind, to use in cooking...

            1. re: galleygirl

              I'll quote, the expert, Kasma Loha-Unchit:

              "Similar pastes made from shrimp are also used in the cooking of southern China and other Southeast Asian countries. These can vary from light pinkish grey and very moist, fluid-like sauces in jars to dark chocolate-brown, firmly compressed blocks. The kind used for Thai cooking leans toward the latter. Since other Asian cultures use shrimp paste differently in their cooking and prefer different strengths, it is best to purchase a product from Thailand for use in Thai dishes." -from

              I use her recommended brand, which is available at Sunrise market. Here's a picture:

              1. re: OakTownHound

                Ah, Sunrise where I buy my prahok,too...The Thai dish I want to make with the shrimp paste is really similar to a Cambodian dish I love; I'll head over there..THX.

            2. re: OakTownHound

              Do you mean GOLDEN BOY fish sauce? Second on left:

              I'm a huge healthy boy fan but I don't think they make fish sauce. Never ever seen it, at least.

              1. re: OakTownHound

                Yes, I also buy the grachai and galangal there, and the shrimp paste you list is the one I have (coincidentally I guess).

                Always looking for kaffir lime, but can't find any in this area, seems I need a car or my own plant to get them.

                Shrimp paste if you're interested, here's a great article from Gastronomica:


        2. Maybe Sunrise Market in Allston. Since they are staffed (owned?) by Thais, I assume they would carry some curry pastes.

          1. Incidentally, the South Bay Super 88 finally appears to be coming back to life (it too will be, pending the outcome of court cases, a Hong Kong Supermarket), with much of the shelving put back; it looks about 80% restocked. But I noticed that the Thai aisle of canned and jarred goods has not come back yet.