5 must-have aromatic pastes to make weeknight cooking a breeze

By TASTE, 23 October 2023

Lately, it seems like there’s never enough time to make satisfying home cooked meals. Weeknight meals lack inspiration and can sometimes be repetitive. With Woolworths’ new range of aromatic pastes, weeknight dinners are about to be exciting again! From Thai green curry to Tom Yum soup, you can make dinner in under 30 minutes and never compromise on flavour and deliciousness.

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The best dishes are the perfect blend of spices, herbs, aromatics and seasoning. While nothing beats a homemade dish that's made from scratch (with love), the hustle and bustle of life can leave you with zero time to finesse your favourite home-cooked meals. Enter Woolworths' new range of Asian-inspired pastes. You'll find all the classics: Thai green, yellow and red paste and a punchy hot-and-sour paste that makes the best tom yum soup. The best thing about these pastes is you just need to add your favourite protein and veg and top it with coconut milk and stock. Serve with noodles or rice and dinner is ready in under 30 minutes! If you're a busy home cook, these pastes are a lifesaver.

1. Thai yellow paste

This paste gets its colour from turmeric. It’s a fragrant dish with flavours of lemongrass, ginger and garlic that’s elevated with the addition of coconut milk. If you've never had any Thai curries, this is the mildest of the three – a great entry recipe to exploring Southeast Asian cooking and ingredients. There are more ways to enjoy this paste: add it to yoghurt with some sesame oil and lime juice to make a creamy dressing, marinate fish, tofu or chicken before grilling, frying or roasting, or add more stock to make aromatic soup. If you make the dish below, try marinating your chicken in the paste for 1–2 hours before cooking for the ultimate flavour!

Get the recipe for Thai yellow chicken curry here.

2. Hot-and-sour paste

To make Thailand's most famous soup, tom yum, you need hot-and-sour paste. This paste adds a bold, intensive flavour to the soup and ticks all the flavour boxes: tangy from the tamarind, acidic from the lime juice, aromatic from the lemongrass, and spice from the Thai bird’s eye chillies. If you're feeling under the weather, this soup is the hearty and comforting meal you need to get back on your feet.

Get the recipe for tom yum soup here.

ALSO READ: 2 viral Asian-inspired recipes you have to try today!

3. Thai green paste

The Thai green paste is made by blending ginger, garlic, lemongrass, coriander, green chillies, and shallots. All you need to do is add coconut milk and your favourite protein and it's ready to serve. If spicy curries aren't your thing, this is the perfect curry to make. And thanks to Woolworths' new aromatic pastes, the cooking time has been halved. Get the recipe for Thai green chicken curry here.

4. Seafood paste

This seafood paste, also known as laksa paste, is inspired by the well-known Malaysian seafood coconut broth. It's very salty, so a little goes a long way! Making the rest of the dish is simple, simply add coconut milk, prawns and cherry tomatoes and you've got a flavoursome laksa that beats any takeaway.

Get the recipe for prawn laksa soup with rice vermicelli noodles here.

ALSO READ: 5 speedy Asian-inspired recipes to make throughout the week

5. Thai red paste

Our favourite thing about this new range of pastes is that they're all vegan. This means that vegan family members and friends don't have to be left out when you make flavoursome dish. We've gone for beef but feel free to make meat-free swaps such as tofu, tempeh and seitan, or keep it all veg with brinjal, baby marrow and cauliflower. Thai red paste is slightly spicier than green and yellow pastes, so if you're in the mood for something hot and spicy, this is the perfect paste to reach for.

Get the recipe for Thai red beef curry here.

Photography: Sadiqah Assur-Ismail
Recipes and Production: Hannah Lewry
Food assistant: Lerato Motau

Find more Asian-inspired recipes here.

Whether you want to expand your repertoire or just add a touch of umami, you’ll find what you need when you shop Woolworths' new range of Asian-inspired sauces, condiments, pickles and pantry basics. Now you can enjoy your favourites, from teriyaki and pad Thai to sushi and ramen without shelling out for takeaways – or travel.

Shop at Woolworths.


Article by TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.
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