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Easy Thai Shrimp Curry

5 stars based on 42 votes

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. 

ingredients

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.

thai-ingredients

Begin by stir-frying the onions until soft, about 3 minutes.

stir-frying-onions

Add the scallions, garlic and green curry paste.

adding-scallions-garlic-and-curry-paste

Stir-fry a few minutes more.

sauteing-scallions-garlic-curry-paste

Add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce and brown sugar, and bring to a gentle boil.

simmering-sauce

Add the shrimp.

adding-shrimp

Cook until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through.

cooked-shrimp

Stir in the chopped cilantro.

ready-to-serve

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

 

Thai Shrimp Curry

Servings: 4 - 6
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 299
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Sodium: 1372 mg
  • Cholesterol: 191 mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    This recipe is easy, quick and absolutely delicious! I did cut back on the fish sauce a bit for personal taste – I’d suggest using 1 tablespoon and tasting before adding more. All in all, an excellent recipe.

    - Tracey on March 16, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We LOVE this recipe and have made it many times. My husband wants me to try it and substitute thinly sliced flat iron steak for shrimp. Could I do this? Just put it in raw when I would have put in the raw shrimp?

    - Grey Currin on February 27, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Grey, I think that would work as if it’s very thinly sliced, it will cook quickly. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      - Jenn on February 27, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    WOW! I made this Thursday night (I used chicken, instead of shrimp), but it was delicious! Better than my favorite take out place! This one is a keeper for sure!!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful dish!

    - Teresa Tuttle on January 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have red curry paste in the fridge. Can I substitute for the green? When should red curry paste be used?

    - Barbara Rendina on January 9, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Barbara, The red curry paste will be delicious — either the red or green work, they just have a little different flavor. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on January 9, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    If I were to make this for a progressive dinner party, could I make it at home and reheat on stovetop at the host’s home.

    Thanks for the awesome recipes!

    - Kelly on January 8, 2017 Reply
    • Sure, Kelly. You might just undercook it a bit so that the shrimp don’t overcook when you reheat it. Hope everyone enjoys it!

      - Jenn on January 8, 2017 Reply
  • Your recipe looks delicious! I love Thai coconut curry anything! My husband and I are trying to keep our carbs down, so have you ever tried it over zucchini noodles? If not, I wonder if anyone else has and if it would be good.

    - Debra on January 5, 2017 Reply
    • Personally, I haven’t tried this over zucchini noodles. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you use them here!

      - Jenn on January 5, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is SO incredibly easy and absolutely delicious! I’ve made it three times so far. The only things I change is the amount of shrimp…there are only three of us so I use a little over a pound and sometimes I serve it over rice noodles. I also found out the Thai Kitchen brand is so far my favorite curry paste to use. Make this dish…it does not disappoint!

    - Kim Botelho on December 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is absolutely delicious just as written! It is quick and easy to make and smells wonderful while cooking. The only thing I do differently is to double the sauce, it is just that good.

    - Shellie on December 5, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Thanks for another great recipe which is an easy prep meal! I have made this a couple of times and my whole family loved it, including two preschoolers.
    Do you think chicken could work instead of shrimp?

    - Ponyo on December 1, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Ponyo, Glad your family likes this recipe! Chicken would work, but I’d go about it a bit differently. First, stir-fry the chicken pieces in a little hot oil until they’re slightly browned on the outside but still pink in the middle. Set the chicken pieces aside and proceed with the onions and rest of recipe. When you add the chicken to the sauce, it should only need 1 – 2 minutes to cook through. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on December 1, 2016 Reply
  • One of our go-to weeknight dinners. Such an easy and delicious meal. Sometimes I make coconut jasmine rice to go with it.

    - Allyson on November 29, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is my family’s favorite dish!! I make it exactly as written except that I add 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced with the onion slices! Super easy and perfect every time!

    - Kenya on October 29, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is OUTSTANDING!!! Loved it. Will be making this again and often.

    - Alicia Feick on September 28, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    LOVED this. :-)

    - Alicia on September 2, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Amazing and super easy!

    - Crissy on August 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn,
    This recipe and all the meals I have tried so far are just fantastic! So happy I found your site. I love to cook and am always looking to change our food routine. Thank you for making this UK household VERY happy!
    Maddi :)

    - Maddi Cryer on July 21, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last night and my family loved it!! Just a few minor mods because of what I had on hand (used red curry paste instead of green, dark brown sugar instead of light, and added mushrooms, thinly sliced red peppers and carrots, and served over basmati rice). The aroma was so lovely that my husband and daughters crowded around the stove to see what smelled so good (and begged for a taste before it was done).

    Even my 2 year old cleaned her plate, then subsequently ate out of mine and her fathers!

    Thanks so much for a great recipe! This is the second I’ve tried from your site and they’ve both been wonderful!

    - April on July 19, 2016 Reply
    • 5 stars

      That is really funny and cute

      - Natalie on November 27, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My boyfriend couldn’t stop saying how great it was – AND I was called a good cook. I did use the low fat coconut milk and it was still great

    - Jen Oberem on June 14, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was so good and so easy to prepare! My picky husband loved it!

    - Jennifer on May 19, 2016 Reply
  • Is unsweetened coconut milk okay, or do you suggest sweetened?
    Thank you!!

    - Joyce on April 19, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Joy, Definitely use unsweetened. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on April 19, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Deeeeelicious! Another 10 star winner – Thanks Jenn! Family asked me to make again and said next day would be ok! :)
    I want to try this with veggies and tofu. Any suggestions for that? The sauce is amazing. I noticed some people wrote about too much heat in the curry paste. I used Thai Green Curry paste and there was no heat. I’d actually like a little so may try another brand unless you have a better idea?

    - janet on March 17, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Janet, glad you enjoyed it! I think you could definitely make this with tofu instead of shrimp, and if you’d like to add a little more heat, you could add a little cayenne pepper when preparing the sauce or serve it with a little sriracha at the table.

      - Jenn on March 17, 2016 Reply
  • Can you swap chicken in for the shrimp?

    - Gretchen on March 2, 2016 Reply
    • Yes Gretchen, chicken would be nice here but I’d go about it a bit differently. Start by stir-frying the chicken pieces in a little hot oil until slightly browned on the outside but still pink in the middle. Then set the chicken pieces aside and proceed with the onions and rest of recipe. When you add the chicken to the sauce, it should only need a minute or two to cook through. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 2, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this for dinner a few nights ago and it was a hit all around. I suspect leftovers would have heated up nicely, but we’ll never know since every last bit was eaten for dinner.

    - Linda Pineo on February 15, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Mmmmm. So good! Used Red curry paste over green as a personal preference but so good.

    - Sean on February 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I LOVE this dish, and make it all the time! I have also used chicken in place of the shrimp and always double the sauce and also add pinapple chunks and red and green peppers.

    - katrina on January 25, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was a very good and easy recipe. I’ve been wanting to make Thai food for awhile, but am always overwhelmed by the new ingredients I will need. This recipe seemed do-able and easy. And it was!

    I made the following changes. I reduced the shrimp to 1 pound and added mushrooms and Napa cabbage to onions. It was really good this way and there were still plenty of shrimp to go around. I also squeezed a lot of lime directly into the dish instead of serving it with lime wedges. Next time I will add carrots and a smidge less fish sauce. I can’t wait to try this with chicken as well. Great recipe!

    - Danielle on October 31, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Really delicious! I am trying to change up our meal routine and these recipes are just the trick! Tasty curry flavour without being overwhelmingly hot. Can’t wait to try more of you your recipes, Jenn!

    - Hayley on October 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this at a friends house for dinner as they love shrimp and curry. It was a big hit. Next time I would double the sauce as everyone wanted more for leftovers to eat with the leftover rice. I would also chop the onions vs leaving them in long pieces next time. I used Thai Basil for the garnish which I liked better than the cilantro I used in previous times. It’s not always easy to find though. A definite favorite recipe in my goto list.

    - Danita on October 29, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, can I use oyster sauce instead if fish sauce?

    - Masuda on October 22, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Masuda, Unfortunately, that won’t work with this recipe. Sorry!

      - Jenn on October 22, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My daughter in law has a milk allergy, could I make this recipe with chicken broth?
    We have had your original version many times and love it so I would like them too try it. Love your recipes, thank you

    - Belva polson on October 5, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Belva, Is it a coconut milk allergy or a regular milk allergy? Unfortunately, the recipe won’t work well with chicken broth. Sorry!

      - Jenn on October 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last night with Jasmine rice and fresh peas, it was easy and very good, but very, very hot! I only used 2 tbsp. of curry paste and it was still burning our lips. Are there different types green curry pastes, maybe some hotter than others? Next time I will half the paste, but will definitely make this again.

    - Mary on October 5, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Mary, What brand did you use?

      - Jenn on October 5, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious recipe. It was perfect with the Thai Basil Pesto I made recently.

    - Will on October 2, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I love all of your recipes! I am going to make this Thai Shrimp tonight. At the grocery store I could only find red curry paste, not the green paste. Will that make a big difference? Thanks, Kara

    - Kara Jones on August 30, 2015 Reply
    • It will be fine, Kara. I’ve made it with both — both delicious :)

      - Jenn on August 30, 2015 Reply
  • Went to the market to buy the ingredients and all I found was Thai red curry paste. They did not have the “green” one. I purchased it but wanted to ask you first if the “red” is ok to use? Thanks!

    - Abbie on August 24, 2015 Reply
    • Abbie, The red curry paste will be delicious — either will work, they just have a little different flavor.

      - Jenn on August 24, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hello, I enjoyed this curry so much,planning on cooking this for my friends and use chicken,but they can’t eat shrimp or fish,so what can I replace the fish sauce with,Thanks

    - Bettie on July 25, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Betty, Glad you enjoyed! There is no great substitute for fish sauce — it has a very distinct flavor — but soy sauce might work. The flavor will be different but still good.

      - Jenn on July 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a wonderfully delicious recipe! Thank you for providing your talented recipies online for us.

    I’m wondering if it is also good with sliced chicken breast when I am out of shrimp?
    I suspect it is?
    Thank you,
    Laurie

    - Laurie on July 17, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Laurie, Yes, I’m sure that would be delicious as well. If you try it, please come back and let me know how it turns out :)

      - Jenn on July 17, 2015 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Hi Jenn,
        It turned out delicious in your curry sauce, but your shrimp is even tastier!
        Thank you for your reply,
        You’re the very best!

        - Laurie on July 17, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Fantastic recipe! Just a good as authentic Thai restaurant curry.

    - Brie Sherwin on July 11, 2015 Reply
  • My husband doesn’t like coconut, does this have a coconut flavor, or could I substitute something else. The big problem is I Love coconut! ! Help

    - Karen on June 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Karen, Unfortunately for your husband, this one is full of coconut flavor, and there’s no good substitute. You’ll enjoy it though :)

      - Jenn on June 27, 2015 Reply
  • I’m planning on trying this but I have 1 question. You mention the frozen shrimp in stores as being split and deveined. My local store sells them this way however there appears to be a second vein on the shrimp. They are cut on the outside and deveined there but there is a second dark “vein” on the inside of the shrimp. Shouldn’t that be removed also?

    - Jim on June 15, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Jim, It’s optional — I remove it if the shrimp are very large and the vein is really noticeable.

      - Jenn on June 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    OMG! This was awesome. So easy, so tasty. I used to make a Thai curry soup that had me running all over town looking for galangla and those ever-elusive kaffir lime leaves. No more! Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    - Kim on May 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is my second review in less than a week, previously I made your Thai Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Lime and I left a rave review……I was HOOKED!! I also made the Baja Fish Tacos last night and today I picked up the ingredients for this Thai Shrimp Curry. I must admit it was my first time dealing with coconut milk and green curry paste etc…..your pictures and simple instructions made my meal so flawless. Ive been taking pictures of my results and my family and friends are so envious! I have two young girls and Im always on the hunt for simplicity but elegant and healthy meals….the Thai Shrimp Curry blew us away….the look on my husbands face was PRICELESS! THANK YOU!!! Also….again….ANOTHER recipe I never felt needed altering!! Wow!

    - Idelle B on April 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This dish has become a family favorite thank you

    - Cherie on March 22, 2015 Reply
  • Could I substitute green curry paste with something else? I can’t get my tongue around it.

    - Mary McMurran on March 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Mary, If you like red curry paste, that will work well.

      - Jenn on March 20, 2015 Reply
      • What is the difference from red and green? The store I went to only carried the red. Thanks!

        - Abbie on August 24, 2015 Reply
        • Hi Abbie, Sorry for the late reply! The main difference is red vs green chiles.

          - Jenn on September 8, 2015 Reply
  • I do not like spicy food. Is this recipe spicy? Can it be made less spicy?

    - Nancy Gamble on March 5, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Nancy, The dish isn’t spicy. The heat comes from the curry paste, but it’s muted by the richness of the coconut milk.

      - Jenn on March 5, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So good! This is the fourth recipe I have tried from your blog and they have all been excellent. Thought I had 2 pounds of shrimp in the freezer but sadly I didn’t so went with 1 pound of shrimp and lots of diced sweet red pepper. Definitely a hit. I may add a few mushrooms next time.

    - Janet on February 28, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last night and my husband declared it’s the best curry he has had (and we eat thai food fairly often). I want to try it with some veggies and tofu, that sauce is so good. I buy the Mae Pluy brand of curry pastes, so that is what I had on hand. The green has a very nice heat level to it that we like. I have not tried Thai kitchen curry paste yet. If you are ever in Seattle for a visit check out the Uwajimaya grocery store in the International district. Fantastic selection of products.

    - Danita on February 28, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last night… my wife and I loved it! The only difference I did was the onions were finely chopped instead of sliced. We’ll definitely have it again!

    - Rick Corey on February 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Jenn, hello just finished the easy Thai shrimp curry, it was fantastic!!!! I love your web site it has become my go to!!! I have not opened another food channel site since. So easy love pictures, and always comes out great. Thank you rhonda

    - Rhonda mohammadi on February 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Awesome recipe, super quick and easy! Prepared exactly as directed, left out the brown sugar, still delicious. This is the third dish I’ve made using your recipes, and they’ve all been great. Thank you so much for sharing. I always look forward to your recipes via email.

    - Madeline on February 21, 2015 Reply
  • Tried this recipe for dinner last night and it was a hit with my husband and teenage daughter. So easy to make and so delicious. I was unable to find any basil at the grocery so stuck with cilantro, but I will try again with basil next time as I think the basil would pair so nicely with the coconut milk. Every recipe I have tried from your website is a success. Thanks for sharing.

    - Linda on February 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Five stars! This recipe was awesome – as are most of the ones I have tried from your website. Love your clear directions, photos and cooking hints. My favourite website! Thanks

    - Dave on February 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hey Jenn,
    This is the third recipe I have tried after stumbling onto the blog? (Website) by accident and being so impressed with the step by step directions, pictures, your backstory and the fact that you talk to your mom everyday. I’m a big fan !!! The shrimp was perfect I already shared shared your newsletter with friend,
    Thanks much!
    Mindy D.

    - Mindy D. on February 20, 2015 Reply
    • Thanks so much, Mindy! Glad you’re enjoying the recipes :)

      - Jenn on February 20, 2015 Reply
  • You mentioned in the description that this meal is infused with lemongrass and ginger but those ingredients are not listed. How much should be added? Or do not use it?

    - Martie on February 20, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Martie, Those ingredients are in the Thai green curry paste, which makes the recipe very easy :)

      - Jenn on February 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This Thai shrimp recipe is delicious. I made it exactly as directed. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It was so easy and fast.

    - kcgreen on February 19, 2015 Reply
  • Would it be possible to substitute the fish sauce? Perhaps for ouster or soy sauce…I cannot find fish sauce at my supermarket for some reason.

    - Sara on February 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sara, You can substitute soy sauce. The taste will still be good, just not quite the same — fish sauce has a very distinct flavor. If you like Thai food and want to cook it at home, it’s worth getting. You can order it online here: http://www.amazon.com/Tiparos-Fish-Sauce-Fl-Oz/dp/B002VNTWHQ

      - Jenn on February 20, 2015 Reply
      • 5 stars

        I did try it with oyster sauce that evening and it was fabulous. I will be bringing this one back to the table soon, thank you so much for the link!

        - Sara on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • Why do you specify full fat coconut milk? Is the taste of low fat too watered down?

    - Suzy on February 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Suzy, Yes, that’s correct.

      - Jenn on February 19, 2015 Reply
  • i am having a dinner party for 8 – what other dishes could I add

    - bernice chesley on February 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Bernice, All you really need with the shrimp is plain jasmine rice and maybe a simple green vegetable. The sauce has so much flavor, and there’s a lot of it, so you don’t want too many competing dishes. That said, you could serve some fun Thai appetizers (like my Thai Minced Chicken Lettuce Wraps or Chicken Satay w/Peanut Sauce – see Ina’s recipe on Food Network). Or you could start with a Thai-Style salad (I love this one from Food & Wine: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/thai-cucumber-salad-with-peanuts). For dessert, tropical flavors would be nice…check out my Coconut Dream Pie…and fresh sliced pineapple would also be delicious.

      - Jenn on February 20, 2015 Reply
  • We don’t eat shellfish at our house, unfortunately. Have you tried this with chicken? Would the approach be the same? Many thanks!

    - Amy G. on February 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Amy, Chicken would be delicious but I’d go about it a little differently. I would start by stir-frying the chicken pieces in a little hot oil until slightly browned on the outside but still pink in the middle. Then set the chicken pieces aside and proceed with the onions and rest of recipe. When you add the partially cooked chicken to the sauce, it should only need a minute or two to cook through. Please come back and let me know how it turns out :)

      - Jenn on February 19, 2015 Reply
  • This looks delicious! Would red curry paste work instead of green? (Red is what I have on hand)

    - Ann on February 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Ann, Yes, red curry paste will work. Hope you enjoy it!

      - Jenn on February 19, 2015 Reply

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