Red Curry vs Green Curry: Difference and Comparison

The red curry is made with red chilies and tomatoes, giving it a spicy and tangy taste. It is the most versatile curry and can be paired well with most food items.

Green curry, on the other hand, is made with green chilies, basil, and mint. This gives it a very distinct flavor.

It pairs especially well with fish and rice. Green curry is spicy and has a thicker consistency than red curry.

Key Takeaways

  1. Red curry is a Thai dish with a red curry paste made from dried red chillies, contributing to its spicy flavor and red hue.
  2. Green curry uses a green paste derived from fresh green chillies, giving it a milder flavor and distinct green color.
  3. Both curries are coconut milk-based and can include various proteins, but they differ in their spice levels, and color due to the curry pastes used.

Red Curry vs. Green Curry

The difference between red curry and green curry is that Red curry uses red chili as its base, whereas green curry uses green chili as its base.

Red curry vs Green curry
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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonRed curryGreen curry
Type of chili usedThai red curry uses around 20 RED chilies.Thai Green curry uses around 15 Green chilies.
How it gets its colorIt gets its color from the enormous amount of red chilies added to it. Tomato puree and chili powder also contribute to the color.It gets its color from green chilies, mint, and basil.
Spice levelIt is the spiciest Thai curry. Many restaurants make it using tomatoes instead of 20 chilies to reduce spice levels. It ranks 5/5 in spice levels.It is also known as Sweet Thai curry as it uses the least spice. Green chilies are comparatively lower in spice levels. It ranks 2 or 3 out of 5 in the spice level.
ConsistencyThin soupy consistency.Thicker than red curry, it can be made thinner with coconut milk or water.
Ingredients usedCoconut milk, red chilies, tomato puree, lime, coriander, cumin, lemongrass, peppercorn, garlic, shallots, ginger, chili powder.Coconut milk, green chilies, ginger juice, lemongrass, basil, mint, lemons, green bell peppers, peppercorn, cumin, and shallots 
ToppingsBest topped with shrimp, baby corn, fish, or broccoli. Best eaten with rice and rice noodles.Best topped with rice, fish, or soya chunks. Used in a stew. Best eaten with steamed rice.
Flavor profileThis is suitable for people who have a high spice tolerance. It is the most versatile curry and goes with almost everything.It is suitable for those who are comfortable with distinct flavours. The sweetness and spice from the basil and green chili give it a bold flavor profile. 
Alternative name Kaeng Phet    Kaeng Khiao Wan  

What is Red Curry?

Red curry is a Thai dish. This curry is used very in Thai cuisine.

It is the perfect curry for dinner. The best red curries use aromatics like shallots, star anise, garlic, and ginger.

The best way to get a rich and creamy red curry is to use full-fat coconut milk.

The easiest hack to make red curry anywhere and anytime is to use store-bought paste and dilute it in full-fat coconut milk. It is available in a non-vegetarian version which includes shrimp sauce, and a vegan and vegetarian version that uses soy sauce.

It pairs best with steamed rice and rice noodles. It can be topped with chili oil or garlic oil.

The easiest way to make red curry is to dilute red curry paste. The paste can be found in the market.

The paste is diluted using coconut milk, providing a creamy consistency. The red curry paste consists of 20 red chilies, tomato puree, lemongrass, ginger-garlic paste, shallots, and kafir lime.

red curry

What is Green Curry?

Green curry is a curry used in Thai dishes. It is made using green chilies.

The curry is eaten along with rice for lunch or dinner.

Green curry is made using green curry paste. The paste is diluted using coconut milk, giving the curry a light and creamy consistency.

The paste uses green chilies, mint basil, lemongrass, kefir lime, ginger, garlic, and shallots. Green curry has a tangy and lip-smacking taste to it.

Green curry is best made with full-fat coconut milk. The vegetarian version is made using paneer, broccoli, and kale.

The non-vegetarian version uses fish sauce and fish as an additional ingredient. The vegan version uses peas and tofu.

This curry is best served with a pot of warm steamed rice. It is topped best with coriander and Thai basil.

green curry

Main Differences Between Red Curry and Green Curry

  1. Red curry uses red chilies as the main source of color and flavor. Some restaurants even add chili powder to get some additional flavor. Green curry uses green chilies as the base for color and flavor.
  2. Red curry uses tomato puree and coconut milk, whereas green curry uses basil mint and coconut milk.
  3. Red curry is very versatile as it has a neutral spicy flavor profile. It is served best with shrimp, rice, and exotic vegetables. Green curry, on the other hand, has a distinct minty flavor profile. It is not as spicy as red curry. It is served best with fish, rice, shrimp, and mushroom.
  4. Red curry ranks 5/5 in spice levels; although some curry pastes use tomato puree, most stick to red chilies and chili powder. Green curry is also known as a sweet curry as it is comparatively sweeter. It ranks a 3.5/5 on spice levels. It gets the spice from green chilies; most recipes also use green bell peppers.
  5. Kaeng Phet is the alternative Thai name for red curry, and Phrik Kaeng Phet is the red curry paste. Kaeng Khiao Wan is the alternative name for green curry.
  6. Red curry is best topped with fish sauce or a few drops of kaffir lime, or a few drops of soya sauce, whereas green curry is best topped with Thai basil coriander and lime.
Difference Between Red Curry and Green Curry
References
  1. http://www.thaiscience.info/Journals/Article/TKJN/10507167.pdf
  2. http://www.tyginger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Ty-Ginger-Dinner-Menu-Web-Carry-Out-130830.pdf

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Red Curry vs Green Curry: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The toppings and flavor profiles of both red and green curry offer such a variety of culinary experiences. It’s truly a delight for food enthusiasts.

  2. The difference between red curry and green curry is fascinating. It’s amazing how the choice of chili can result in such distinct flavors.

  3. Learning about the alternative names for red and green curry is quite intriguing. The cultural significance is truly captivating.

    1. Avatar of Bruce Richards
      Bruce Richards

      I’m the opposite, Adele! I love the thicker consistency and the unique flavor profile of green curry.

  4. I’ve always been intrigued by Thai cuisine, and the detailed differences between red and green curry have expanded my knowledge.

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