Cambodian Lemongrass Paste

January 22, 2023  Cambodian Chef Avatar
Cambodian Lemongrass Paste

Cambodian Lemongrass Paste is a versatile spice blend commonly utilized in various Southeast Asian cuisines including Cambodian, Thai, Laotian, and Vietnamese. The paste is crafted from a harmonious combination of lemongrass (specifically the white part), thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves, galangal, garlic cloves, turmeric, and a dried Mexican chili (optional for color). To prepare this aromatic paste, the ingredients are pounded together in a mortar and pestle until a smooth, flavorful mixture is achieved.

This lemongrass paste plays a prominent role in Cambodian culinary traditions and is a staple in many dishes, particularly those involving BBQ, soups, or stir-fries. The paste’s vibrant flavor profile is attributed to the aromatic lemongrass, citrusy kaffir lime leaves, pungent galangal, and earthy turmeric, creating a blend that is both fragrant and savory. The optional addition of dried Mexican chili offers a hint of spiciness and imparts a reddish hue to the paste, making it a key ingredient in certain curries.

For those seeking to avoid the red coloration, omitting the dried chili is recommended. However, it is worth noting that in dishes like curry, the chili is crucial for achieving the desired coloration. Notably, both Thai and Cambodian curry pastes often incorporate this type of lemongrass paste, showcasing its significance in regional cuisines. Overall, Cambodian Lemongrass Paste is a versatile and essential component in Southeast Asian cooking, elevating a wide range of dishes with its aromatic and flavorful profile.


2 Lemongrass white part only cut to small pieces
3 kaffir lime leaves thinly sliced
3 galangal pieces thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon of turmeric
1 dried Mexico chili soaked cut to small pieces

Directions to make Cambodian Lemongrass Paste

  1. In a mortar pestle pound all the ingredients to paste.
  2. We use a lot of lemongrass paste on many of the BBQ and soup or stir fry.
  3. If you don’t want the paste to turn red color don’t use dried Mexican chili, but for curry you need to put it in for red color.
  4. Thai and Cambodia curry paste use this kind of lemongrass paste.


Related Recipe: Cambodian Pineapple Curry Recipe

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1

Calories Per Serving: 106

% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate ‏25g 9%
Total Fat ‏1g 1%
Saturated Fat ‏1g 5%
Dietary Fiber ‏2g 7%
Protein ‏3g 6%
Sodium ‏52mg 2%
Sugars ‏3g 6%


15 min


15 min




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