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Difference Between Red and Green Curry

Red vs Green Curry

Red and green curries are two variants of curry in Thai cuisine. Both types of curry have several similarities. Both curries are coconut-based or made with coconut milk. As dishes, both get their name from their color. The color of the curry, in extension, is derived from its ingredients.

In simplicity, curries require coconut milk (its base), a staple of spices and curry paste. Spices and other ingredients can be combined beforehand to make the paste. Other staple ingredients include: garlic, lemongrass, and fish sauce. Shallots, white pepper, garlic, kefir, lime rind, shrimp paste, sea salt, coriander, cumin seeds, and galangal (a relative of ginger) are also considered as staple curry ingredients.

The main difference between the two curries is the type and color of chilies used in its preparation. Dried red chilies are used for red curry (and red curry paste). The same function is done with fresh, green chilies for green curry. Green curry also gets its color from additional ingredients like coriander and other vegetable additives. The two chilies have their own distinct flavor and taste characteristics.

In Thai, red curry is called gaeng phed. The words literally translate as “spicy soup.” The green curry is translated as gaeng keow wahn or “sweet green curry.”
In comparison, red curry is spicier and more savory compared to green curry. Red curries are loaded with bold depths of flavor. Meanwhile, green curry is milder and more on the sweet side. It gives a bright and sharp flavor.

Red curry is made by adding 20 dried, red chilies or chili powder to the mixture. Cayenne and cinnamon can be added as well. Meanwhile, green curry requires fresh, green chilies with cumin and a small amount of turmeric. Coriander, cilantro, and other leaves can also be added.

Both curries can be paired with a variety of food including rice, noodles, or protein. Protein can be in the form of poultry and meat products like beef, pork, and chicken. Seafood like shrimp is also a popular choice to combine with both curries. However, duck and tofu are more likely to be combined with a red curry. The same is true for vegetables being paired with green curry.


1.Both green and red curries are two types of Thai curry. Both are based in coconut milk and share staple ingredients like lemongrass, fish sauce, shrimp paste, shallots, garlic, and other spices. The names of the dishes come from their color.
2.Another similarity is that they are often paired with similar proteins; beef, pork, chicken, and seafood. A distinction is made for duck, tofu, and vegetables. Duck and tofu are associated with red curry while vegetables go with green curry.
3.Both red and green curry can come as pastes and are later added to form the curry. The red curry paste, in addition, is more versatile and can be applied to other dishes other than red curry.
4.As dishes, red and green curry can have different recipes depending on the person who prepares them.
5.The main difference between the two curry dishes is the color and the chilies used. Each chili has its own characteristic and flavor. Red curry is made from dried and red chilies while green curry comes from fresh, green chilis.
6.Red curry is spicier than green curry. It also has a bolder flavor and more depth. In contrast, green curry’s flavor is milder and sweeter. In addition, it has a brighter and sharper taste.
7.In the Thai language, red curry is called gaeng phed. It translates as “spicy soup” while green curry is known as “sweet green curry” or gaeng keow wahn in the local language.

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  1. green curry is spicier than red.

  2. Actually the main difference is a small round eggplant in thailand. in the USA they use bamboo shoots to give it a similar flavor since the eggplant is not available easily here.

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