Easy Thai Shrimp Curry

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In this quick shrimp curry, shrimp are simmered in a fragrant Thai coconut sauce infused with fresh herbs.

shrimp curry

This Thai-style shrimp curry is made by simmering plump shrimp in a rich and fragrant coconut sauce infused with green chilies and fresh herbs. It’s super easy to make. In fact, with  a few Thai essentials in your pantry — like coconut milk, green curry paste, and fish sauce — 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. 

What you’ll need to make shrimp curry

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

How to make shrimp curry

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

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Thai Shrimp Curry

In this quick shrimp curry, shrimp are simmered in a fragrant Thai coconut sauce infused with fresh herbs.

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
  • ⅓ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, from 4-5 scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2½ tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 pounds large, extra large (26/30) or jumbo (21/25) shrimp, peeled and deveined (see note), thawed if frozen
  • ¼ 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 onions and cook, stirring frequently, 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.

Pair with

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

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • This came out amazing! I made this along with Jenn’s tangy citrus slaw and some grilled pineapple. Another keeper!

    • — Turtle on May 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Followed the recipe exactly, definitely a keeper! Delicious!!

    • — Wendy on May 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • “A Keeper – 5 Stars” were the first words my husband said after the first taste! Made this for dinner last night. I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. I will definitely be making this again .. and again! Thanks for another great recipe Jenn!

    • — Catherine on April 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the most flavorful, yummy recipe. Have made it multiple times. Want to drink the broth after eating the mussels
    Thank you

    • — Mary on February 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • I loved the concept – but I had to tweak quite a few things. 1) more green curry paste 2) coconut cream instead of milk 3) no water 4) add broccoli + red pepper 5) half the amount of fish sauce 6) Thai basil

    • — Dalia on February 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi I want to make this and I was wondering about the cilantro. I was just wondering because most recipes call for Thai basil and you have used cilantro, my question is is there much of a difference in the taste of the finished dish? By the way, I love cilantro – just wondering before I make it. I had this seafood Thai curry in a real Asian restaurant and it was so good I just want to make it and have it taste so good.

    • — Susan on January 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, I use cilantro as it goes nicely in the dish and is easier to find in most grocery stores. That said, Thai bail would be great here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2022
      • Reply
  • Is it possible to use frozen already cooked shrimp for this? If so- how would the instructions change? Thanks!

    • — Lauren on January 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, I’d recommend sticking with raw shrimp for this — sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 3, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you!

        • — Lauren on January 5, 2022
        • Reply
  • Outstanding!!! I added a bit more of the green curry paste bc we like a kick and added thin red pepper strips. Served with jasmine rice and sautéed book choy. This is definitely a keeper.

    • — Karen ONeill on December 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Outstanding as usual and was able to do prep over the weekend and put together in about 15 minutes after work. I added sliced peppers and added them with the green onions, but you could add any additional vegetable (thinking broccoli or snow peas next time). I made it with diced chicken breast and poached it in the curry like the shrimp. I’ve made this several times and this time, I had no coconut milk (poor planning on my part despite the weekend prep). The interwebs suggested all sort of substitutes. I landed on half plain Greek yogurt and half milk with a splash of heavy cream. I added an extra 1/2tbsp brown sugar and a little more curry paste to make up it and it was delicious. Certainly better with coconut milk but was happy that it was nearly as good. I highly recommend this one and it’s part of our regular rotation.

    • — Elizabeth on November 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was delicious! I will be making it again. Maybe even better the second night.

    • — Kathleen on October 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely loved this easy curry recipe! I changed a few things – I almost doubled the amount of curry paste that was called for, and added 2 medium zucchini’s. I put these in a minute or two after adding the shrimp so they still stayed crunchy. This added a yummy green veggie and crunch. Overall 5/5 recipe!

    • — Anastasia Hall on September 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • This site has been my recipe book ever since I came across Jenn’s cast iron steak method. This one is another winner, quick, easy and absolutely delish! In Jenn I trust.

    • — Dominik Kaminski on August 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love all of Jen’s recipes, and this one, for sure. However, having made many Thai recipes I have a few comments about brands that should be used for curry paste, coconut milk and fish sauce. Thai kitchen brand is not on my list.The best curry paste is the brand ‘ Maesri” It comes in a small can- yellow, green and red. Next best brand is “Mae Ploy” but their containers are somewhat large, although it lasts forever. Least favorite brand is “Thai Kitchen” which is what is used here. I used Maesri, so, because it is more intense, would half the quantity and then taste at end to see if you want more heat. When using Coconut Milk the best brand is AROY-D ( not low fat) Lastly the only fish sauce to use is Red Boat fish sauce. I would also hold the brown sugar until the end, taste an see if you think you need any.

    • — Cathy, Guelph, Ontario, Canada on July 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • Definitely agree with you about the Maesri curry paste! Way better flavour than Thai Kitchen and a fraction of the price! I can get it for $1.50 a container, and that’s up here in Canada where everything is more expensive than down south.

      • — Bry on April 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • I added some fresh mint and it was a whole different level of flavor!!

    • — Betty on June 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my go to dinner whether it’s to wow guests or just the family. Incredibly easy and delicious. Another winning recipe from a Jenn!

    • — JanM on June 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was a hit! I added some green peppers and might add some carrots next time.

    • — Kelly Guenther on May 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this tonight and my hubby’s first word on tasting it was an emphatic “YUM!” This is quite the compliment, since he is our primary cook at home and has worked in a restaurant so he has “skillz” – my cooking is generally competent and pleasant enough, but not often something to celebrate. So I guess this one’s a keeper!!

    Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to do a bit of research on more of what you’ve posted, because something tells me there’s more “gold” around here. *smile*

    • — Mindy T. on April 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I love your recipes and make so many of them! However, I never make the ones that require fish sauce, because even a little bit in food totally turns me off to it (I have tried one or two of yours as well). I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t eat it (I hate sounding so picky!). That being said, I would love to try some of your recipes that call for it. Is there anything you recommend that could replace fish sauce in your recipes and still keep them somewhat authentic? Thank you so much!

    • — Karen on March 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, I always encourage people to try the fish sauce, but it sounds like you have and just can’t do it! 🙂 There’s no perfect substitute for fish sauce — you can use soy sauce instead. The dish will lack that authentic Thai taste, but it will still be good!

      • — Jenn on March 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • Excellent curry. Added red bell pepper and served on cauliflower rice and ~ 1 tsp red pepper flakes for some heat.

    Will make again!

    • — RBS on February 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • I so wanted to love this dish…alas I did not. It was far too sweet, the texture of the sauce was unusual, almost like corn starch gravy, (used the exact brand of ingredients, other than my standard brand of fish sauce). I usually give things another chance but this one will go in the out bin.

    • — Anne on February 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, I made this recipe as written the first time, and it was delicious! I do agree with Karen, fish sauce – YUCK! Next time I will try it with a dash of soy sauce. I’m going to change it up a bit tonight and use some tilapia filets instead of the shrimp, I think it will be just as delish, it appears to be a versatile recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • — Diane on February 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Really liked this, and appreciated its simplicity. I do think the right amount of curry paste to add is dependent on brand and personal taste. I used Mae Ploy green curry paste and found it a bit hot at the amount called for. I also thought the dish was on the salty side. I’ll gradually add Red Boat fish sauce next time. Looking at your other curry recipes Jen, I noted that you simmer some of them to thicken them. I was wondering whether that would be good step for this recipe prior to adding the shrimp. The shrimp were perfectly cooked after simmering for 3 to 4 minutes.

    • — LFK on February 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked this! And, yes, if you’d like to simmer the sauce a little longer before adding the shrimp, that would be fine.

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’m looking for a new recipe for my husband for Valentine’s Day, and I think he would love this! However, anything I have ever made with fish sauce makes it taste terrible to me. I love your recipes, so I was wondering if I could substitute something else for the fish sauce??? Thank you!

    • — Karen on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, You could replace the fish sauce with soy sauce. The dish won’t have that signature Thai flavor, but it will still be good. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 4, 2021
      • Reply

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