Jun 29, 2016

Thai Red Curry Shrimp

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
I love the balance between the spicy curry paste and the creamy coconut milk; it’s one of my favorite flavor combinations because you get both salty and sweet.

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This shrimp dish could be eaten as a soup but I like to make it a more filling meal by adding jasmine rice. I love the balance between the spicy curry paste and the creamy coconut milk. It’s one of my favorite flavor combinations because you get both salty and sweet.

If you like food on the spicier side, add additional red curry paste as desired. This easy to make recipe comes together in just over 30 minutes so it makes a great weeknight dinner. If you are new to curry this dish is for you, it’s on the milder side.

Thai Red Curry Shrimp

Thai Red Curry Shrimp with Jasmine Rice over jasmine rice with chopsticks

What Red Curry Paste Should I Buy?

This meal is meant to have some shortcuts for a quick weeknight dinner. Instead of making my own authentic Thai red curry paste, instead I opt to use a store-bought curry paste. My favorite Thai curry paste brand is Mae Ploy which can be found online here or at most Asian markets or Target.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Lemongrass – Lemongrass adds a bright, lemony flavor to dishes. Fresh lemongrass is best for this recipe since it has a more complex flavor. Pre-packaged paste or dried lemongrass can be substituted if needed. Only the bottom yellow part of the lemongrass stalk is used in cooking, the top part is typically much too tough.
  • Coconut milk – Coconut comes from the creamy liquid inside mature coconuts. It creates a rich, creamy sauce with a bit of coconut flavor. It makes for a creamy curry broth that complements the shrimp in this recipe.
  • Shrimp – The terms “jumbo” and “extra jumbo” and “colossal” aren’t standardized terms within the industry. Instead look at the numbers – they estimate approximately how many shrimp are in 1 pound. The shrimp should be peeled and deveined before beginning the recipe. While I leave the shrimp on, for easier eating they can be removed prior to cooking.
  • Red bell pepper – Bell peppers are sweet with a mild flavor. They don’t have any heat but add a sweet flavor, especially when sautéed. The colors of bell pepper differ based on maturity – it comes down to the time of harvesting. Red bell pepper, which I use in this recipe is fully ripe. They can be substituted with another color of bell pepper in this recipe as the difference is fairly subtle.
  • Fish sauce –  I love the funky umami flavor fish sauce adds to any dish. It’s a great way to enhance the flavor of this red coconut curry. The flavor comes from a process of fermenting fish over a long period of time.
Thai Red Curry Shrimp with red bell peppers over Jasmine Rice

How to Make Thai Red Curry Shrimp with Jasmine Rice

  1. Cut lemongrass. Cut about ½-inch off the end of the lemongrass and discard then cut the stalks in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  2. Sauté aromatics. Place large sauté pan over medium heat, add the peanut oil and heat through. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and the white part of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Cook the pepper. Next, add the bell pepper and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the pepper has softened, about an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in curry paste. Add the red curry paste to the pan, stirring constantly until aromatic, about 1 minute.
  5. Make the coconut curry broth. Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime zest, remaining lemongrass stalks and 1 cup of water to the pan. Stir to combine then season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer about 20 minutes. Do not boil the soup as the coconut milk may separate.
  6. Add shrimp and cook. Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper then add them to the mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Add lime juice and half of the cilantro leaves. Discard the lemongrass stalks.
  7. Serve. Divide the mixture among bowls and serve with jasmine rice. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions and the remaining cilantro.
thai red curry shrimp recipe

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this red curry recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Thai Red Curry Shrimp

Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced and separated into white and green parts
  • 1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoons palm sugar, or light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ pound extra-large shrimp 26/30
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Jasmine rice, for serving

Instructions:

  • Cut about ½-inch off the end of the lemongrass and discard then cut the stalks in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  • Place large sauté pan over medium heat, add the peanut oil and heat through. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and the white part of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add the bell pepper and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the pepper has softened, about an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the red curry paste to the pan, stirring constantly until aromatic, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime zest, remaining lemongrass stalks and 1 cup of water to the pan. Stir to combine then season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer about 20 minutes. Do not boil the soup as the coconut milk may separate.
  • Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper then add them to the mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Add lime juice and half of the cilantro leaves. Discard the lemongrass stalks.
  • To serve: Divide the mixture among bowls and serve with jasmine rice. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions and the remaining cilantro.

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  1. So many issues with this. Standing here with all the ingredients and I’m completely lost. First, it says 2 lemongrass stalks ends cut; recipe then goes onto say “take the minced lemongrass…” which is it?

    I just happen to glance at part of the instructions and see there’s palm sugar. Not even listed in the ingredients. Luckily I have some. However, because it’s not listed, there isn’t a measurement.

    Lame.

    • To clarify it is the cut lemongrass stalks that you add. And the instructions should read palm sugar not cane sugar. So sorry for the inconvenience here, I will be sure to make the necessary edits. Thank you for the feedback.

    • Thank you! Sorry there was a typo – the peanut oil goes in the pan before the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and scallions where I had accidentally written "olive oil". My apologies for the confusion – I hope you enjoy the recipe!