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Easy Thai Shrimp Curry

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In this quick Thai-style shrimp curry, plump shrimp are simmered in a coconut sauce infused with aromatics and green curry paste.

Bowl of Thai shrimp curry over rice.

This Thai-style shrimp curry is made by simmering plump shrimp in a fragrant coconut curry sauce infused with aromatics and fresh herbs. It’s quick and easy to make. In fact, if you keep shrimp in the freezer and a few Thai staples – like canned coconut milk, green curry paste, and fish sauce – in the pantry, you’re never more than 25 minutes away from this satisfying meal.

There’s plenty of sauce if you’d like to add some vegetables to round out the meal; carrots, bell peppers or snap peas would all be welcome additions (cook them separately and add them at the end). Serve the curry with jasmine rice for soaking up the plentiful sauce, 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

thai shrimp curry ingredients
  • Onion, Scallions and Garlic: These aromatics form the flavor foundation for the sauce.
  • Thai Green Curry Paste: This common Thai ingredient 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 use the Thai Kitchen brand. Note that different brands will have different levels of heat, so you may need more or less depending on the kind you use.
  • Coconut Milk: A staple in many curry dishes, it’s essential to opt for full-fat coconut milk to achieve that rich texture and taste. However, be aware that canned coconut milk’s consistency can differ depending on the brand. I’ve consistently had great results with the Thai Kitchen brand. Don’t worry if the coconut milk looks solidified or separated when you open the can; it can be added to the recipe “broken” and then whisked back together into a creamy emulsion.
  • Fish Sauce: This dark, pungent liquid used in Southeast Asian cooking doesn’t have a “fishy” taste, but rather a salty, savory flavor. If possible, buy a brand imported from Thailand or Vietnam, and don’t worry about buying a large bottleit keeps forever.
  • Lime Juice: Brightens up the sauce with citrusy freshness.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by cooking the onions until soft, about 3 minutes.

stir-frying thinly sliced onions

Add the scallions, garlic and green curry paste.

adding scallions, garlic, and green curry paste to the skillet

Cook a few minutes more.

stir-frying the aromatics

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

adding the coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar to the skillet

Add the shrimp.

Shrimp cooking in a coconut milk mixture.

Cook until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, then stir in the lime juice and sprinkle with the fresh chopped cilantro.

Cilantro and shrimp in a coconut milk mixture.

Spoon into shallow bowls and serve with jasmine rice and lime wedges.

Bowl of Thai shrimp curry over rice.

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Thai Shrimp Curry

In this quick Thai-style shrimp curry, plump shrimp are simmered in a coconut sauce infused with aromatics and green curry paste.

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


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts, from 4-5 scallions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2½ tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar
  • 2 pounds large, extra large (26-30 per lb) or jumbo (21-25 per lb) shrimp, peeled and deveined (see note), thawed if frozen
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons), plus more lime wedges for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, Thai basil, or Italian basil (or a combination)


  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 cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes more. Add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce, and sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and sprinkle with the cilantro (or basil). Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve with jasmine rice.
  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 are typically thawed frozen shrimp. Who knows how long they've been sitting there, so you’re better off buying frozen shrimp and defrosting it yourself. Come dinnertime, all you have to do is run the shrimp under water to defrost, and 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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  • YUM! My husband and I just loved this! Made exactly as directed except used Basmati rice. Added some stir fried snow peas and carrots at the very end. This would be a great meal for family dinners…quick to prepare and curry is something we all love. Another winner!

    • — Cindy Swoveland on April 19, 2024
    • Reply
  • Can I substitute Red Curry Paste instead of green?

    • — Scott on April 12, 2024
    • Reply
    • It may have a little less heat and will be slightly different in color, but it will work — enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 15, 2024
      • Reply
  • Prepared as per the recipe, the Jasmine Rice turned out perfectly. The poached shrimp was very tender and flavorful as was the curry sauce. However the curry sauce, made using “full fat” coconut milk (14 g/serving) was too brothy. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will withhold the 1/4 cup of water and only add water sparingly if needed at all.

    • — Dean on March 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • I found this recipe while trying to duplicate a restaurant meal I’d loved. This is almost exactly the same – if there is anything different, it’s that this is a bit better. I’ve made it nearly a dozen times, for my family and for company (all of whom have asked for the recipe as well). Amazing. Sometimes we up the green curry for a little extra spice and it’s delicious.

    • — Anna on February 23, 2024
    • Reply

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