Chinese Curry Paste

Whilst this Chinese curry paste is a bit of a labour of love, requiring some care and attention especially during the last stage of preparation, it is well worth the effort.  Flat packed and stored in the freezer, you’ll have enough paste to make around 20 full portions of Chinese curry sauce.  Better still, the paste can be used straight from the freezer, which means you’re never more than 10 minutes away from a delicious curry, or even just a side sauce to pour over fried rice or crispy chips.

See the notes after the recipe for instructions on how to use your Chinese curry paste to make 1 portion of sauce.  Happy cooking!

Chinese Curry Paste
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Ingredients
Cuisine: Chinese, British Chinese, Scottish Chinese
Keyword: curry, Chinese curry paste, curry paste, curry sauce, Chinese curry sauce
Servings: 20 portions
  • 400 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 1 celery stalk sliced
  • Indian bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1/4 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon MSG
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
  • 3 tablespoons tinned fruit cocktail
  • 50 grams creamed coconut block
  • 120 grams curry powder (Eastern Star is good)
  • 300 grams plain flour
  1. Add the vegetable oil, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, star anise and cinnamon to a pot over a medium-high heat. Once sizzling, reduce the heat to low and fry for 10 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic and fry for a further 20 minutes.

  3. Remove the bay leaf, star anise and cinnamon stick.

  4. Add the tinned fruit cocktail, sea salt, sugar, MSG, turmeric, chilli powder, smoked garlic powder and Chinese 5-spice. Mix well.

  5. Blend the mix with a stick blender until completely smooth.

  6. Add the creamed coconut block and stir well for 1-2 minutes until fully melted.

  7. Add the curry powder and mix well. Stir for 30-40 seconds until the curry powder is well incorporated.

  8. Add the plain flour 1/3 at a time, mixing well after each addition until the flour is well incorporated with the oil and the spices. The mix will become thick and harder to mix as more flour is added.

  9. Continue cooking over a medium heat for a further 45 minutes, stirring and mixing occasionally. Give your curry paste plenty of love and attention at this stage. As the spices and flour cook out, oil will start to come through the curry paste.

  10. Allow the curry paste to cool completely before packing flat for the freezer (this saves on freezer space). The frozen mix will remain soft enough so you can take one portion at a time.

Recipe Notes

To make 1 portion of Chinese curry sauce with this paste.

Add 50g of curry paste to a pot.  Add 225ml light (low salt) chicken or vegetable stock, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon of caster sugar and 1/4 teaspoon MSG.  Mix well over a low to medium heat, stirring well until the sauce thickens and is piping hot.  Add a little water if the sauce becomes too thick, or cook it for longer or add more curry paste if it becomes too thin.

If a smoother sauce is desired the sauce may be passed through a fine sieve before serving.

If using stock that is already quite salty, the additional salt may not be necessary.

If you like this Chinese Curry Paste recipe, you might be interested in buying my book:  The Chinese Takeaway Secret is packed full of Chinese takeaway style recipes including Satay, Sweet & Sour, Salt & Chilli and more and is available to buy in kindle or paperback form here.

The Chinese Takeaway Secret

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