Easy Thai Shrimp Curry
This is my husband Michael’s favorite Thai dish. Plump shrimp are simmered in a rich and fragrant coconut sauce infused with lemongrass, ginger, hot green chilies and fresh herbs. It sounds exotic but it’s super easy to make. In fact, with just a few essentials in your pantry, you’re never more than 25 minutes away from this delicious meal, alive with the vibrant flavors of Thailand. Serve with jasmine rice, and be sure to put the rice on first so that everything is ready at the same time.
Before we get to the recipe, a few words about the ingredients. First, you’ll need Thai green curry paste, which is made from a blend of lemongrass, galangal (a cousin of ginger), cumin, coriander root, Kaffir lime and hot green chilies, to name just a few. I like the Thai Kitchen brand, which is readily available at most large supermarkets. If you don’t see it, ask — the bottles are very small and sometimes hard to spot. Second, you’ll need coconut milk; any brand will do, as long as it’s not low fat. And, finally, you’ll need fish sauce, which is a dark, pungent liquid used in Southeast Asian cooking. Contrary to what you might expect, it doesn’t have a “fishy” taste, but rather a salty, savory flavor. If possible, buy a brand imported from Thailand or Vietnam (I use Tiparos), and don’t worry about buying a large bottle — it keeps forever.
Begin by stir-frying the onions until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the scallions, garlic and green curry paste.
Stir-fry a few minutes more.
Add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce and brown sugar, and bring to a gentle boil.
Add the shrimp.
Cook until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through.
Stir in the chopped cilantro.
Spoon into shallow bowls and serve with jasmine rice and lime wedges. Fresh sliced pineapple makes a delicious and refreshing dessert.
Thai Shrimp Curry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions, from one small onion
- 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, from 4-5 scallions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-1/2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 pounds large, extra large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (see note)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, Thai basil or Italian basil (or a combination)
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and and stir-fry (cook, stirring continuously) until soft, about 3 minutes. If the onions start to brown, reduce the heat to medium. Add the scallions, garlic and green curry paste, and stir-fry for 2 minutes more. Add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce and brown sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro (or basil) and serve with jasmine rice and lime wedges.
- Note: For the shrimp, I recommend buying frozen shrimp labeled “shell split and deveined.” Most shrimp are cleaned and flash frozen shortly after being caught, so the “fresh” shrimp you see in the seafood case at the supermarket is typically thawed frozen shrimp. Who knows how long it’s been sitting there, so you’re better off buying frozen and defrosting it yourself. Come dinnertime, all you have to do is run it under warm water to defrost, then peel.
- Per serving (4 servings)
- Calories: 428
- Fat: 27g
- Saturated fat: 19g
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Sugar: 6g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 34g
- Sodium: 2115mg
- Cholesterol: 286mg
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