Difference Between Red Curry Paste And Red Chili Paste

When it comes to Asian cooking, we are constantly confusing red curry paste and red chili paste. The truth is, there is some difference to be noted between these two.

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Are chili paste and curry paste the same thing? Well, that’s what we intend to figure out today.

In this post today, we are checking out a detailed red curry paste vs. red chili paste comparison. We also hope to figure out whether one can be substituted for the other. Let’s get to it.

Red Curry Paste vs. Red Chili Paste

Red Chili Paste
Red Chili Paste
Red Curry Paste
Red Curry Paste

One of the main differences between these two is the word chili and the word curry. These two words are different for a reason.


Well, the ingredients used are the first difference. While red chili paste needs the use of roasted chilies, red curry paste requires the use of fresh red chilies. For that reason, red chili paste will have a smoky warmth, while red curry paste retains a curry note because it features a range of additional spices.

Read: Which Are The Best Onions For Chili?

Use in Cuisine

At the same time, red chili paste can be enjoyed as an ingredient in a recipe, or as a condiment. However, red curry paste is normally needed for use in recipes that need to be cooked. The chili paste will work great as a side condiment together with bread, fried rice, crackers, toast, and more. Curry paste, however, will boost the flavor of milk-based curries. It also works as a great base for stews or soups.

Flavor Profile

Red chili paste is less piquant compared to red curry paste. It features a warm, hot, savory, smoky, and slightly sweet-sour flavor. Red curry paste, on the other hand, has a richer, bolder, and more piquant flavor. It has a warm and hot flavor with a strong curry undertone.

Texture and Color

Red curry paste has a smoother texture compared to the chunkier red chili paste. As for the color, red curry paste is normally reddish-orange, while red chili paste features a deeper red color.

Can I Substitute Red Curry Paste for Chili Paste?

As you can see, there is a bit of difference between these two, which includes the nature of the red chilies used. However, despite being different, these two are great substitutes for each other. If you have a recipe that requires you to use red chili paste but you don’t have it, then you can easily use red curry paste as an alternative.


As you can see, red curry paste and red chili paste are different in more ways than one. However, they are amazing types of paste that can be used in different ways. Fortunately, if you do not have red curry paste, then red chili paste will work well, and vice versa.


Feel free to share your observations with me in the comments section!

Also, if you find the information in this post to be useful, be sure to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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