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Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best?

Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best?Ever since the boyfriend’s parents introduced me to Mae Anong curry pastes, I haven’t had the urge to try any other brand.  Mae Anong has many different varieties of pastes available, they all taste great, and I can find them easily at my local Thai market.  However, one of the most frequent questions that comes up on this blog is which brand of curry paste is the best.  And since I hadn’t tried all of the curry paste brands out there, I never felt like I could answer in confidence….  that is, until now!

Read on for our next Thai Test Kitchen challenge: a side-by-side comparison of six Thai curry paste brands.

 Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best?

For this curry paste showdown, I chose to compare the brands that are the most widely available in the U.S., but still maintain some sense of being Thai, such as being a product of Thailand or having a respectable ingredient list.  I also went with only green curry pastes and followed the same recipe for a curry with pork, green beans, and Thai eggplant to make sure that the playing field was even.  The brands compared were: 1) Thai Kitchen, 2) Lobo, 3) Aroy-D, 4) Maesri, 5) Mae Ploy, and 6) Mae Anong.

 Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best?Immediately upon opening the packages, differences in color and texture of the various brands were apparent.  Thai Kitchen (1), Aroy-D (3), and Maesri (4) had a more yellow tint than the other brands, whereas Mae Ploy (5) and Mae Anong (6) had a crumblier texture than the others.  And perhaps as a signal of what was to come, I also felt that the Thai Kitchen paste had a somewhat unpleasant aroma as compared to the others.

Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best?After our initial inspection, it was time to start making curries!  This ended up being quite the production, using all four burners on the stove for the initial four curries, then hurrying to make the last two before the first set got cold…

You’ll notice in the photos below that the Thai Kitchen (1) curry separated more than the others.  It also required more water to maintain a decent consistency, as did the Lobo (2) curry.  I think this was mostly a reflection of the different pots I was using, and not because of an inherent difference in how the curry paste cooked.  Despite this, you can see that the first three curries ended up being more green in color than the last three, with the Mae Anong (6) curry looking almost gray.

Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best?

Next came the taste test.  The boyfriend and I recruited friends to be our guinea pigs and sample these curries, side by side, with plenty of water and rice in between to cleanse our palates.

Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best?The results were as follows:

1. Somewhat surprisingly to me, all of the curries were ranked as being decent.  There were definitely favorites, but overall, our friends decided that any of these curries would be passable as a Thai green curry.

2. The top three brands were Mae Anong, Mae Ploy, and Maesri.  Mae Anong and Maesri were described as having smooth, round flavors with Mae Anong being slightly more flavorful than Maesri.  Mae Ploy ended up being too salty for the boyfriend and me after the addition of fish sauce as called for in my recipe, but it did have a nice heat and depth of green curry flavor.

3. The bottom three brands were Thai Kitchen, Lobo, and Aroy-D.  Thai Kitchen was described as having a somewhat unpleasant, slightly bitter taste, but still tasting like green curry.  Lobo had a distinctive lime (but not kaffir lime) flavor and Aroy-D tasted more like an Indian curry with a prominent turmeric taste.  These three were also less flavorful than the top three brands.

Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best?I have to say that my favorite brand of curry paste is still Mae Anong, even though it doesn’t make for as pretty pictures given its grayish hue.  But, I’ll definitely be more willing to substitute Mae Ploy or Maesri in the future should the need arise.

This little experiment also reconfirmed for me that the amount of fish sauce needed for your curry depends upon the paste you’re using, and the amount of water necessary to achieve a nice consistency is dependent upon many factors, including your pan and how quickly it heats.  Also, you simply can’t skip out on Thai basil and kaffir lime leaves, as they make all of the difference in creating a fantastic Thai green curry, regardless of the paste used.

So now the question of which Thai curry paste is best has been resolved, and we have enough green curry to last us for a long while!   Luckily it freezes well…  Do these results coincide with your experiences?  Which brand of Thai curry paste is your favorite?  Let us know in the comments below.


90 comments… add one
  • Annette April 17, 2018, 9:25 pm

    Funny thing I tried mae ploy and hated it in all the flavors i bought. Prefer Aroy d brand masseri i like for the massaman . hate thai kitchens products.

    • Gary April 23, 2018, 9:17 am

      I’ve been cooking my Thai Green Curry as a staple for years but recently my supermarket, which carries 5 or 6 brands, stopped carrying the one I always chose. Bizarrely I never looked at my brand so was devastated when I bought Mae Ploy and it wasn’t it though it came in the same shape tub with similar label. The Assistant told me the best was ‘Nittayya’ and it certainly looks the part with only Thai writing and an English label added on import but I didn’t like this either. I’ve since found out, from a tub I left at my mother’s one time I cooked it for my family, that the brand I like so much is Aroy- D. I was originally told one secret to a good Thai Curry is that the coconut milk is added in two batches. The first is designed to split the oil in the paste. It’s only when this split happens that you can continue with the cook. The higher the quality of the paste the longer it takes to split. Mae ploy splits almost immediately and has an inferior flavour where Amoy-D sometimes takes 10 mins to split. Try it. Though, of course, there is a level of subjectivity in all these things. Thanks Racheal though, for your instruction.

    • Etieene June 3, 2018, 1:21 am

      @Gary: It is the coconut oil that needs to separate, not the curry past. You are correct in saying you first put in only part of the total amount of coconut milk. You boil this until the oil separates and use that to sautee the curry paste to bring out the flavours more. It will also add a beautiful shiny/oily look on top of the final curry. The curry paste itself does not break down usually, nor does it need to.

  • Lee March 22, 2018, 5:52 pm

    Really interesting review. My favourite is a green curry and have settled on the Mae Ploy brand. My wife prefers Massaman and i had to try a few to find a good paste. Mae Ploy was nasty but a brand not mentioned which i found is Cock Brand. Here in the UK i have found a supermarket in China Town, London as the only place i can buy it off the shelf.

    • Jo December 4, 2018, 4:28 pm

      Was the Cock brand paste any good though? I am vegan and still searching for a decent one without shrimp in it.

    • John December 7, 2018, 11:41 pm

      Hey Jo,
      Cock brand is vegan; no shrimp or “natural flavors”.
      search Cock brand green curry on amazon and it’ll be there, thought peeps there don’t seem to like it.

  • Tricia October 18, 2017, 8:38 pm

    I’m looking to try out some curry pastes. I saw a brand called Nittaya and wondered if anyone had tried it

    • Lance February 2, 2018, 3:10 am

      Yes, Nittaya is a premium brand. It very well may be the next best to home made pastes. I got turned onto it at a local Thai market, and after using Nittaya I didn’t want to ever use anything else. It makes beautiful curries; the balance of flavours is so smooth. Their Prik King paste makes the best Pad Prik King I’ve ever eaten.

  • bruce September 29, 2017, 1:32 am

    i grew up in chiangmai. may ploy -totally fake. maesri red and yellow authentic. i agree maesri is not like the restaurants but i havnt been to a thai restaurant yet that serves thai food

    • Annette April 17, 2018, 9:25 pm


  • Antony September 27, 2017, 2:55 am

    Maesri Masaman curry paste is gross. I bought it after reading the reviews on Amazon.It has a very unpleasant pungent odour, and not like what you get at restaurants.

  • Jennifer Parker September 16, 2017, 10:59 pm

    Unfortunately, I can’t eat the Mae Ploy brand cause it has shrimp paste in it, which I’m allergic to. I guess it’s Maesri for me then!

    • Catherine December 31, 2017, 6:09 am

      Hi Jennifer,
      I wonder if you wouldn’t mind sharing how you’re allergic to shrimp paste. I find it gives me headaches and I think the culprit is tyramines. So Maesri does not contain shrimp paste? I find I’m pretty much allergic to anything containing a fermented substance, i.e., fish sauce, soy sauce, marmite, etc.

  • Alec June 27, 2017, 6:05 pm

    I would love to send you some of our curry sauces to try out as well! Please let me know if you would like some :)

  • Missy S April 25, 2017, 6:14 pm

    Thank you! I LOVE Massaman curry and I’m pregnant and apparently the baby does too (of all things!) so I’ve been looking into buying my own paste and experimenting. I appreciate your review b/c it helps me know where to start! Just found it on a random Google search but not many people have done curry company reviews! Have a wonderful day!

    • Rachel April 26, 2017, 2:27 am

      Great, glad to hear it’s helpful! Baby has good taste already :)

  • Bob Jakes (ปัญญา จักษุวิญญาณ) April 16, 2017, 7:25 pm

    I am a farang who enjoys Thai food and has a special affinity for recipes from the North such as Gaeng Hang Le, and Khao Soi. I am looking for the curry powders I can buy locally (or at least, order them from somewhere in the USA). I know that Lobo makes these items, but the only store I found that carries them is in Florida (darn) – I am in Michigan.

    Can you tell me some websites I can use to try and order these items in the States?

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Bob Jakes

  • Bob Jakes (ปัญญา จักษุวิญญาณ) April 16, 2017, 7:21 pm

    I am a “farang” who lived in Thailand for 2 years back in the late ’60’s. I am looking for any Hang Leh curry powder/paste that is available here in the US. I know that Lobo makes it, but the only store I found this in is located in Florida (darn). Can you help me by mentioning some websites I can use to find it?


    Bob Jakes ()

    • Rachel April 17, 2017, 3:24 am

      Hi Bob, Lobo has an Amazon storefront where you can find their Khao Soi seasoning packet online (http://amzn.to/2oCdl3j). I’m not sure about hang lay powder, I’ll have to look around a little bit more. We typically stock up on the ingredients when we go to Chiang Mai, so I haven’t had to source it here yet… I’ll let you know if I come across any online!

  • Loren March 29, 2017, 9:21 pm

    Sorry for the super long post! I meant to say “Thai Kitchen” pastes I had not found satisfactory, but few of the ‘Taste of Thai” measure up either…

    Any way, I guess my question was, can I make curry paste without chilies or with milder chilies, as I like the general flavor without the heat? And are the red and green pastes all that different? Red always seemed hotter to me, though most people say the green is. If the ingredients are the same except for red(dry) versus green(fresh) chilis, , could i just make a batch of paste with no chilies and add very small amounts of milder items to get the color? Because really the color is not all that important to me…

    • Rachel March 30, 2017, 2:04 pm

      Hi Loren, I’d suggest trying a yellow curry instead. It’s much less spicy than the red and green ones, but you still get a nice curry flavor. Best, Rachel

  • Loren March 29, 2017, 9:12 pm

    I am American, but I love Thai food. However as I have gotten older, I find my ability to tolerate foods made spicy with chilies is now non-existent. I can tolerate black and white and szechwan pepper fine, but capscaicin from fresh chilies causes severe chemical burns to my mouth and much internal distress now. Previously though, I used many different flavors of the Mae Ploy curry pastes, and found them all delicious. In my area (around Dallas) the 8 oz. tub is around three dollars for an amount that used to make 8-10 servings for me ( I used about 1 oz / 2tbsp of the paste for about 2 servings). MaeSri, on the other hand, is $1.49 for a can that makes only one pan of curry that feeds about 3 people(4 only if not very generous servings. So, MaeSri is much more expensive for the amount of paste you get. Can leftover MaeSri paste be frozen or refrigerated? I hate to pay that much then throw away any left, and the cost is a factor for me. I always felt that MaeSri and Mae Ploy were the best brands I found. I have not seen the Mae Anong brand, and was never happy with any Taste of Thai paste. Also can you remember which paste was the spiciest?

    If I cook any Thai curry these days, I find I have to use far less paste than I used to. I used to love to make my own pork and long bean green curry with eggplant(lots!), and served with sticky rice. But the last couple of times, it was soooo hot, and if one uses less than 1 1/2 tbsp of paste, you can’ t taste “green curry”, its just spicy hot with no curry flavor. I know that one shouldn’t make green curry paste with bell peppers, but could it be made with mostly poblano peppers and just one jalepeno? I love the taste of the herbs and spices, but simply cannot tolerate the spiciness at all any more, but I really miss my green curry!

  • John NYC March 19, 2017, 10:54 pm

    Very useful info. Just got some Mae Ploy from Chinatown Thai grocery and now hunting for a recipe. Will check this site first.

    • Luis Reyes March 23, 2017, 7:51 pm

      Curry sauce:
      1 can coconut milk
      1 small avacado
      Juice of 1 lime
      2 tablespoons soy sauce
      1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
      3 tablespoons green curry paste of choice

      1 thin sliced celery stalk
      1 red pepper thin slices
      1 zucchini halved long way then sliced thin
      1/2 small bag matchstick carrots
      1 cup snap peas
      1 small avocado cubed
      fresh basil (for garnish)

      1 lb chicken breast or steak or 50/50 mixed chopped in small cubes

      Blend curry ingredients until smooth put in pot.
      Season meat with Salt and pepper to taste and strain any juices, combine into curry pot turn pot on med heat to bring to light boil.
      Season veggies with some olive oil salt and pepper lightly saute (2-3 minutes) then combine in pot mix well.
      Serve with rice garnish curry with fresh basil!

  • Vraja D December 30, 2016, 3:13 am

    Has anyone tried Chef’s Choice? I want to know since they sell the best canned coconut milk I have had. I live in Hawaii and we have a lot of choices for coconut milk because of the large asian population here and all the other brands I have had pale in comparison, so I was wondering if their curry pastes are also such a high standard. I did notice that they have a slightly different recipe for green curry than the others with the addition of fennel. The Mae Anong looks to be the one with the least number of ingredients which is why it is less colorful than the others, I haven’t had it yet but I am going to buy some. The only one I have had is Mae Ploy yellow curry (their only veggie one) which I love, very spicy.

  • A.K. December 28, 2016, 4:43 pm

    One trick that I have learned for using Maesri curry paste for over 25 years is to add 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan over low heat and let the Maesri curry paste simmering and releasing its color and aroma before adding any coconut milk and other ingredients. This step makes the curry soup yield more vibrant color. Then, add coconut milk and let the coconut oil break up into the surface.

  • Alec Forshag November 17, 2016, 5:18 am

    Check out our instant Curry! No preservatives, just heat and add whatever meat you desire! Straight from the heart of Thailand! The Grand Temple.

  • Herve Haurie November 4, 2016, 9:36 am

    We are manufacturer of Thai curry pastes.
    Would you mind if we send you some samples?
    Warm regards from Thailand

  • Rawisara Marko October 27, 2016, 5:13 pm

    The best curry paste is the one you freshly made.
    It’s not that difficult ^^and if you are cooking thai all the time, you probably have all ingredients in ur freezer anyway :) Maybe you should share curry paste recipes.


    • Tippy December 12, 2016, 12:29 pm

      Maybe you should stop being such a condescending twit and share your own curry paste recipes on your own site rather than telling other people what to do on theirs. This post was highly helpful to me and obviously many others. Get over yourself.

  • tong August 10, 2016, 7:40 am

    In Thailand, there are a lot of good brand of curry paste. Apart from those 6 brands you had reviewed, I would recommend another brand from Northern Thailand, Maenoi.

    If you wanna try the authentic Lanna recipe, such as Khaosoy or Hunglay Curry, pick Maenoi brand – recommended.

    Official Website : http://www.pabenfoods.com
    Local Shopping Site : http://www.maenoicurry.com

  • BetsyB April 7, 2016, 8:28 pm

    Thank you for this comparison. I made a green Thai Curry last night with Thai Kitchen and my husband was not happy. To be honest, I couldn’t taste it very well after standing over the pot for so long, but upon tasting today I see what he means. No heat or spice, and some unidentifiable underlying unpleasantness. Glad to know about some other options as I was ready to give up. :)

  • Frankie February 22, 2016, 8:10 pm

    After I read your Thai Test Kitchen: Which brand of curry paste is best, I asked my friends about those 6 brands. They told me that your top three pick were the most popular among Thai community. Even though I am a Chinese guy, I love Thai food, especially Thai curry. Because I am vegan, I did a bit investigation on the top three brands. Mae Anong and Mae Ploy use shrimp paste as one of the ingredients. As a vegan myself, I think Maesri is the best one because it is vegan product. I will use Maesri when I cook Thai curry. Yum

    • Rachel February 23, 2016, 10:40 pm

      Great investigative work, Frankie! Thanks for commenting :)

    • Vraja D December 30, 2016, 2:55 am

      The Mae Anong curries are vegan, the poor english on their label may give the wrong idea, for example here they give ideas on how to use with different things like meats and coconut milk, but make a mistake in labeling it as ingredients, https://www.amazon.com/Mae-Anong-Curry-Paste-16-Ounce/dp/B006VD15G8 The kist of the actual ingredients listed on the front of the packages in English can be seen here https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=676&q=mae+anong

    • Randall February 11, 2017, 11:44 pm

      I’m staring at a tub of Mae Ploy yellow curry paste now. Here is the(veg friendly) ingredient list: Garlic, lemongrass, salt, shallot, galangal, dried red chili, coriander seed, kefir lime peel, curry, powder, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg. The comma between curry and powder is on the package. Probably a typo. Not sure about the green curry.

      This one is very tasty. It is also pretty salty. 285mg per tablespoon… or 24% of daily allowance in a 2 table spoon serving.

    • Rhea May 25, 2017, 7:37 pm

      I just came back from the Asian market where I picked up a can of Maesri green curry paste. I had to read through the ingredients of all green curry pastes there as I am allergic to crabs and have been advised to stay clear of shrimp as well. It came down to either Mae Anong or Maesri, but I couldn’t tell whether the former had shrimp in it so I settled for the latter. Looks like I lucked out with my choice. I can’t wait to make my dish and next time, I think I’ll give Mae Anong a try!

  • Bianca February 14, 2016, 12:09 pm

    I use Cock Brand Curry Paste and I find it quite colour- and flavourful. :) Have you ever used it? Would love to hear how it compares to the other brands above.


    It seems Cock Brand is more readily available in Europe, while Maesri et al might be more readily available in the US.

    • Rachel February 14, 2016, 5:14 pm

      Hi Bianca, thanks for the comment. I haven’t tried Cock brand yet. I’ll have to try it and others mentioned in the comments and do another, more extensive taste comparison :)

  • Degsy January 29, 2016, 2:31 pm

    I’ve tried lots of Thai curry pastes going back years. Then, I discovered Maesri, and it’s my favourite, so I don’t bother with the others. Masaman, Penang and Prik Khing are special. Prik Khing is different, not needing coconut milk to be added.

  • fatty farang November 16, 2015, 11:43 pm

    nice cross section, incl the brand i’m talking about: http://www.ustrading.com/en/products/sauces-and-seasonings/?subcatid=0605
    look forward to your next thread testing them *ALL*…. ;)

  • fatty farang November 7, 2015, 5:04 am

    is “dragonfly” not a major brand? i see it everywhere on the east coast, despite the importers being in CA. comes in glass jars like thai kitchen, albeit twice as large i think. and a lot more “legit” looking (thai labeling; “product of thailand” etc) — i’d always assumed thai kitchen was in the “taste of thai” / “la choy” family of yank wannabes.

    never seen mae anong. the other 5 i’ve seen/bought here and there at various times — mostly in asian markets — but dragonfly is far and away the main brand in the *non* asian markets around here (aside from thai kitchen, which, again, i avoid….).

    once upon a time i recall thinking “mae ploy vs maesri” as the big choice but after several years here, this has unconsciously shifted to “mae ploy vs dragonfly”. it wasn’t until i saw your page that i even REALIZED i’d changed this!

    anyway, here’s the detes:

    dragonfly instant (green/red) curry paste
    8oz glass jar
    around 3 bucks i think

    distributed by:
    US trading co
    hayward, CA 94545

    label bilingual (plus dab of chinese on the “dragonfly” logo), but clearly printed stateside. i.e. “distributed by” right on the label — not a sticker — and no thai address anywhere. but, again, it does say “product of thailand”.

    TASTES GREAT, btw! i guess — haven’t gotten around to trying it in tight succession to its 6 TOP RIVALS, so what do i know?! ;)

  • William August 3, 2015, 12:40 am

    Enjoyed your test kitchen information on curry paste so very much. Thank you for sharing! Have you ever tried Hand Brand curry paste? We really like it when we can find it. We use Mae Ploy and Maseri all of the time. Golden Boy Fish sauce and Shark Brand Sriracha sauce have become beloved fixtures in our kitchen, probably used more than their american cousins like Tabasco. The kids prefer Sriracha over Tabasco!

    Thanks again.

    • Rachel August 3, 2015, 2:56 pm

      I haven’t tried Hand Brand curry paste – I’ll definitely keep my eye out for it! Your kids have good taste :)

  • Tristan May 16, 2015, 1:58 pm


    Nice experiment, I was wondering this myself.
    When I go to the asian store you can also buy green curry paste in the fridge section in small quantities or a bigger pot in the the normal section. I was wondering if there is a difference there? according to to owner the one of the fridge is better.
    Does someone have experiences with this difference?


    Tristan (Belgium)

  • Lib M. March 17, 2015, 8:43 pm

    I stumbled on your blog accidentally, but I’m so glad. We have recently moved from Phoenix to a small town in Mississippi, and the Asian food market is sorely lacking. Mae Ploy was recommended to me by a Vietnamese friend who heard about it from a Thai friend of hers. I have been forever grateful, as Thai Kitchen from the regular grocery was just not cutting it, and I was overwhelmed by the selection at the Asian market. I am a fan of Mae Ploy green and panang curries, and I know what to expect from the brand. Next time I have the opportunity to go to an Asian market, I might have to check out some of the other brands.

  • Josh March 7, 2015, 8:29 pm

    I’ve always used Mae Sri, since back when most of the pastes included shrimp paste (which they removed in the late 90’s to appeal to more vegetarian/allergic customers). Mae Ploy is decent, but it’s drier (less fresh aromatics, more dried spice) and saltier, so I don’t like it as much. Nittaya is good if you can find it; I used to buy from their shop in Banglamphu near Tang Hua Seng department store.
    Coconut milk, I find, can make just as big a difference: Chaokoh used to be the brand to buy, then they changed. Then Aroy-D UHT boxes became easier to find and separated really nicely. Then about a year ago I discovered Savoy brand, and now I won’t buy anything else. I would suggest you do a Test Kitchen: kathi.
    Or a fish sauce tasting.

    • Rachel March 8, 2015, 2:30 pm

      Thanks for your insights, Josh! I actually have a taste kitchen post in the works about coconut milk :)

    • Mishqueen May 17, 2017, 7:19 am

      I’d love to try Savoy curry paste, because I just LOVE Savoy coconut cream!

  • Susan February 17, 2015, 9:52 pm

    Thai Kitchen Green Curry paste and their Red Curry paste used to be better. They have changed their recipe to make it milder. It’s terrible. I used to use just a little and now I can use the whole bottle and not get a good curry taste!

    • Ruth October 17, 2016, 7:09 pm

      I totally agree with Susan about the Thai Kitchen Red Curry paste. It used to be good, but after they changed it, it became almost tasteless. May Ploy is the other one that I’ve used, and it is delicious!

  • Fatima February 16, 2015, 4:19 pm

    Great article. I use Shemin’s Thai paste. It is all fresh ingredients. Its a real contender !

  • Sarah January 19, 2015, 3:15 pm

    Thank you for the testing and posting. Here in Italy is hard to find and with a friend offering to get it from UK where Asian ingredient widely available, I need to make the right choice of ready made paste, and your post helped a lot. For me the worst I ever tried is the Blue Elephant green curry paste (or should I call it jellified liquid), it was the only brand available in this supermarket in Malta.

  • GG January 6, 2015, 10:32 pm

    Thank you for confirming that Thai Kitchen curry paste is pretty meh. I guess it’s a matter of taste but I tried Thai Kitchen red curry paste for the first time today and was really disappointed in the flavor – or lack thereof. I then went online (which I should have done first) to see if anyone had any recommendations on curry paste. Although you tested green curry paste, I’m guessing your taste test might have also yielded a low rating for Thai Kitchen’s red curry paste. I’ll try one of your other tested brands in my next curry dish.

  • Brian November 8, 2014, 4:06 pm

    I like Mae Anong, find the Mae Ploy far too salty, it’s just not balanced IMHO. Having lived quite a few years in Thailand I’m used to salty curries but with a greater depth of flavour. Earlier this year I discovered the curry paste from mythaicurry.com at a festival , the Southern curry caused beads of sweat to break out on peoples foreheads but they kept eating:-) I’m returning to work in Qatar next week with a nice assortment to see me through the next six months, different class! At least I can also buy fresh lime leaves there as well, only frozen in the UK.

  • Phil November 4, 2014, 12:03 pm

    I have been using the various types of Maesri curry pastes for quite a few years now and love the flavours. Here in south eastern Australia I find that the larger supermarkets stock the 3 staples being Red, Green and Massaman pastes. To find the more exotic or less common pastes I generally grab my supplies when I travel to Melbourne where there are many Asian Grocers with a fantastic variety including Yellow, Panang, Kua and Prik Khing. One of the hardest things for me to find locally is Roti to eat with our curries. I now grow my own Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass and the fresh flavours are wonderful.

    • Laura January 18, 2015, 11:50 pm

      Hi Phil, I live in Melbourne and have been having a difficult time trying to find Prik Khing curry paste in the Asian grocers I have been to. Whereabouts have you found a wider variety of Thai curry pastes in Melbourne than just the standard Red, Gree and Massaman?

  • Laura September 22, 2014, 9:38 pm

    This is exactly what I was looking for when I googled, thanks for doing this comparison! Would love love to see the same thing done with coconut milk, as you mentioned above… :)

    • Phil May 24, 2016, 1:27 pm

      Hi Laura
      Whoops – this is an extremely late response!
      I found the best range of Maesri curry pastes at Forest Hill Chase shopping centre at Forest Hill.

  • Ian September 5, 2014, 10:24 am

    I always used Namjai but have been unable to get hold of it in the UK for a couple of years now. Maesri has been my 2nd choice ever since but I’m going to try sourcing Mae Anong now.

  • Melvin September 4, 2014, 10:25 pm

    I find nittaya brand to be my favourite, I would definitely agree that mae ploy is too salty! I will have to try mae anong! Thanks for the great review

  • Tiana August 28, 2014, 4:17 am

    Okay, WOW. After submitting my first comment, I took a look around your site and realized WE’RE IN THE SAME CITY. Weirdest coincidence ever. Thank YOU for letting me know where to shop for Thai groceries!!!

  • Tiana August 28, 2014, 4:12 am

    I cannot, for the life of me, find green curry paste ANYWHERE! I’ve concluded that any typical grocery doesn’t carry it..where else can I find it?

    • Susan May 16, 2016, 10:12 pm

      Trader Joe’s has a green curry sauce in a jar…use coconut milk with it.

  • Nancy Steinman May 8, 2014, 6:52 pm

    Thank you….I found the ingredients right on the front of the packages.

    Thanks again,

  • Nancy Steinman May 8, 2014, 6:45 pm

    Rachel….thank you for this wonderfully in depth taste test! I was researching Thai Pastes today since I am on a Paleo eating program and am looking for Paleo friendly products. I couldn’t find the ingredient list on the bags of Mae Anong. I believe they were probably written in Thai. Any ideas…I’m especially interested in MSG, Sugars, etc.

    Thank you!

  • Carla Sue March 15, 2014, 8:55 pm

    I also find Mae Ploy to be tasty but too salty. Thanks for posting this and I’ll give Mae Anong a try.

  • suzy March 11, 2014, 1:54 pm

    I have had great experience with all kinds of Mae Ploy curries, but not I will experiment with Mae Anong for sure.
    Mae Ploy curries often include some kind of umami already, so that you don’t to add any yourself. I believe it is usually oyster sauce.

  • Kelli March 5, 2014, 3:47 pm

    What a great post. Thanks for this info. Love your blog! Would you expect the results to be similar with red curry paste as well?

    • Rachel March 6, 2014, 3:18 pm

      Hi Kelli, that’s a good question. I would imagine results would be pretty similar, but I guess I can’t know for sure without doing another taste test :)

  • Fawn @ Cowen Park Kitchen March 4, 2014, 11:46 pm

    I love this type of science! (the delicious kind)
    Speaking of curry variables, I’ve recently switched from Chaokoh to Natural Value coconut milk (flavor is just as good if not better, and it doesn’t come with emulsifiers, preservatives or BPA can, which is cool). Have you ever tried that brand? It’s kind of hard to find, at least in my area.

    • Rachel March 6, 2014, 3:15 pm

      Thanks Fawn! That’s actually in queue for another Thai Test Kitchen post :)

  • LauraNOC March 4, 2014, 9:31 am

    I’ve always used the Mae Ploy brand, because that’s what my Thai friend recommended, but I recently ran out of red curry paste and I bought another brand. I must say your article makes me regret not sticking to what I knew works. The Green Curry from Mae Ploy is indeed very salty and requires very little fish sauce. I probably don’t eat as spicy as you do, although my cooking is considered too spicy by most Dutch people. Thanks for an informative post!

  • chali March 1, 2014, 5:05 pm

    love your experiment with all those pastes, though i’m thai but never had enough effort to do that (like you) !!! mae sri is the only brand i can find at local asian supermarket, as i live in a very remote area :( anyhow, that really enlight me that the only brand of curry paste they carry is not bad at all :) / chali

    • Diane Murphy June 30, 2015, 4:56 am

      When you say faffir lime, do you mean fresh? Can you use dried?

    • Rachel June 30, 2015, 12:56 pm

      Hi Diane, yes, I mean fresh kaffir lime leaves. Dried ones unfortunately just dont have the same flavor…

  • Bibs @ Tasteometer March 1, 2014, 9:51 am

    Wow, that all sounds like hard work but a fun experiment. I’ve not tried all those curry pastes but I always buy Mae Ploy. I find that I add a lot less fish sauce though as it’s too salty. But, I have a kaffir lime tree so I always add some kaffir lime leaves, lime juice and palm sugar. Then taste and adjust as necessary until perfect. Loved reading your post, very interesting.

    • Rachel March 6, 2014, 3:12 pm

      Thanks Bibs! It was more fun than work :) I’m glad our results match up with your experience too.

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