Yellow Khmer Curry Paste (Kroeung)
This centuries-old curry paste—combined of myriad aromatics and fermented fish paste—is a building block of flavor in all sorts of Cambodian dishes. Get the recipe for Yellow Khmer Curry Paste (Kroeung) ». Christopher Wise

Kroeung is an umbrella Khmer term that refers to a family of spice and herb pastes. One of the most common is the bright yellow curry paste used as the base of classic dishes like amok and beef curry with fried shallots and peanuts. This all-purpose building block of flavor has been used in stews and with vegetables and meats for centuries.

Featured in: The New Tastes of Old Siem Reap

Yield: makes 1 1/4 cups
Time: 20 minutes


  • 6 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 12 tbsp. prahok
  • 18 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and sliced into very thin ribbons
  • 12 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 8 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 6 stalks lemongrass, inner cores only, roughly chopped
  • 1 (4-inch) piece fresh galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 (4-inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced


  1. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium. In a large bowl, mix the prahok with the kaffir lime leaves, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, and turmeric. Scrape the aromatics into the wok and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the ingredients are soft and beginning to lightly brown, about 14 minutes.
  2. Scrape the ingredients into a food processor and let cool completely. Process the ingredients into a lightly chunky paste, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the food processor as you go, and then scrape the curry paste into a container.
  3. Seal the container and store the curry paste in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.