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Oct 22, 2009 01:47 PM

Where to buy curry paste in Philadelphia

Having just perused a book on Vietnamese and Thai cooking, I went looking for green (and red and yellow) curry paste at the market on Washington between 11th and 12th (the plaza with Pho 75 in it) and struck out.

Can anyone suggest where I might find it and what brands they like for each.

Yes, I could make my own but I decided on this matter I want to be lazy and use someone else's.


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  1. There's a tiny Thai market on Locust between 42 & 43rd that sells canned green and red. It's nondescript and easily overlooked by sits between Evan's Varsity Pizza and a coffee house. Also, and perhaps more accessible, is the Thai grocery store on Washing near 23rd St. They also sell Thai cookware including rice steamer and mortars (have yet to find a pestle there).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Boognish

      I have found everything I need at this little store, and the man who always seems to be working has been very helpful.

    2. The Thai stall in the RTM has all kinds of curry paste in a can.

      1. Thanks tonyjlive and boognish, I will give those place a shot and let you know what I find. If you have any brand recs, let me know (perhaps I won't have any choices...)

        1 Reply
        1. re: NYChristopher

          Look for Mae Ploy. I think it's the best brand of premade curry paste.

        2. That store absolutely carries curry paste in all the colors of the rainbow. You need to look harder or ask somebody. The brand I usually buy Maesri. You can also find it at Whole Foods for twice the price.

          5 Replies
          1. re: barryg

            I tried to make shrimp red curry last night, using a package of red curry powder, mixed with chicken broth, coconut milk, lime, sugar, and soy. It turned to be pretty blah. Anyone have a good red curry recipe to share?

            1. re: mrslloyddobler

              Don't use powder, use the canned paste. Sugar, and soy are not needed IMO if you use a good paste and coconut milk. Get some fresh cilantro for garnish. And make sure you have some onions in there. If it's too thick you can use some broth to thin it out. A very simple way to make a good curry.

              1. re: barryg

                I'll give that a try next time. The spice just wasn't there and it tasted too peanut buttery for my tastes.

              2. re: mrslloyddobler

                copied from a book I got from the library (____ Best Vietnamese and Thai Cooking, I believe). This is a green recipe but I don't see why you couldn't use red.

                THAI GREEN CURRY WITH CHICKEN (see below for shrimp)

                1.5 c unsw. coconut milk
                1 tbsp green curry paste
                1 stalk lemongrass, dry outer leaf peeled off, cut in 1" pieces
                1 c chicken stock*
                2 tbsp fish sauce
                3 tbsp sugar
                1.2 tsp turmeric
                2 lime leaves, julienned
                1 lb b/s chicken breast, cubed *
                2 c bamboo shoots, blanched 5 mins and drained
                1/2 c frozen shelled peas
                2 fresh tomatoes (plum), diced
                15 Thai basil leaves, halved

                heat 1/3 c coconut milk in wok or wide heavy skillet
                add curry paste and lemongrass - stir, heat 1 min
                add stock, fish sauce, sugar, turmeric, lime leaves - bring to boil
                add chicken - 3-5 mins
                reduce heat, add milk, bamboo, peas, tomatoes - 3 mins
                add basil, stir, serve over rice

                *When I did this last week, I used veg stock and shelled fresh shrimp (medium to small, NOT large), cooking till shrimp were pink and found it a fine variation.

              3. re: barryg

                Good news (for me anyway): Assi carries the Maesri line, $1.09 per can.

              4. There are a number of places in Chinatown - I've found them in several places, but I know they definitely carry some in a Grocery Store around 10th and Arch.