Spicy, aromatic and exotic… Thai curries. I’m ready for a big bowl any time of the day. Today’s Thai Shrimp Curry is a very special recipe that I have been cooking for years.
You can make it as an authentic, hot curry one would get on the streets of Bangkok, or customize the heat a little to suite your palate. At the end, it’s all about that distinct combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy in a bowl, which Thai food is so famously known for.
Come on the curry trail with me, and I promise you this one holds so much more punch than any of your neighborhood restaurants.
Some time back, we gave you Thai Green Curry with Chicken. That’s our go to curry base whenever my taste buds demand something tingling when cooking with chicken or beef.
When it comes to shrimp though, I try to veer towards red curry paste. I don’t know why. It’s just been like that for years. So here we go again for one more bowl of Thai Red Curry with Shrimp.
Love for Thai Food
Thai food is one of the most popular and beloved cuisines all over the world. Though often known for its spicy hot flavors, Thai cuisine is actually a perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and spicy flavors, that all work in harmony.
Now how spicy you make your Thai food is entirely up to you. “Hot” is a very relative term. Someone’s very hot curry can be just medium for someone else.
The beauty of Thai food is that you can make it as hot and spicy as you like, by just adjusting a few ingredients, and still enjoy the amazing Thai flavors. From Mild curry to Authentic Thai Hot Spicy!! It’s all up to you.
Many times though, chefs in local Thai restaurants underestimate our ability to handle the spice, and cook it way too sweet, lacking the real authentic punch. So how about cooking your beloved Thai curry in your very own kitchen, in pursuit to those authentic Thai flavors.
We LOVE Red Thai Curry, ‘cos
1. It has authentic Thai flavors in a rich, creamy and fragrant sauce. It’s spicy because it’s meant to be spicy, but it has a great sweet and salty balance. The combination of spicy, rich and creamy, savory and sweet is just perfect. It’s absolutely addictive and you will keep on going back for seconds.
2. You can make it mild, medium, Hot, or Thai Hot…
3. This one can be loaded with any veggies of your choice. We used bell peppers today, as we wanted the shrimp to shine, but you can use zucchini, broccoli, peas, mushrooms, carrots and more… bring them on.
4. This recipe is versatile with other proteins too. Make the same red curry base with chicken, beef, salmon or go meatless.
5. It’s quick. Why? Cos you can make it with store bought Thai curry paste. Yes, we do advocate making pastes and marinades from scratch, but in this case some of the store bought Thai curry pastes are excellent. It’s very common for even locals to go with branded curry paste, rather than making it from scratch. We highly recommend Mae Ploy or Maesri curry pastes for great tasting authentic Thai curries.
Thai Shrimp Curry Ingredients
- Shrimp – We love plump, succulent shrimp for our curries. If fresh and wild caught, even better for any dish. Simply peel and devein. We leave the tails on but, it’s a personal preference.
- Thai Red Curry Paste – Mae Ploy or Maesri Red curry paste. Please go to Asian stores for these authentic curry brands. We have tried some other curry brands that you see in your regular grocery stores, and they sure lack the authentic curry punch, and tend to be way too sweet.
- Aromatics – Ginger, garlic.
- Veggies – Shallots, red and green bell pepper.
- Coconut Milk – It creates a rich, creamy base for Thai curry.
- Sauces and Seasonings – Soy sauce, fish sauce (a must for any Thai curry), brown sugar.
- Basil – If you happen to have Thai basil, it’s great here. But in its absence, your regular basil works too.
- Lime juice – Brightens up the seafood Thai curry.
- Oil – Any of your preferred cooking oil.
- For Garnish – Cilantro, scallions, red chili peppers, fresh basil leaves.
Thai Red Shrimp Curry Recipe
1. Cook the red curry paste: Heat oil over medium high heat in a pan and sauté shallots for 3-4 minutes. Add Thai red curry paste and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring continuously.
2. Add in aromatics and vegetables: Add in ginger and garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Add in bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in liquids and sauces: Stir in coconut milk along with 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add the basil.
Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking. At this point you can add more curry paste, soy sauce or sugar. Simmer for a few more minutes.
4. Add protein: Add shrimp and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through.
Stir in lime juice. Garnish it with desired garnishing.
Ways to Serve Thai Red Shrimp Curry
- The absolute favorite and traditional is of course over fresh, warm white rice like jasmine or basmati rice. Serve it with fresh basil, cilantro and fresh lime wedges.
- Use this curry base with noodles and enjoy it like a ramen or pho.
- Serve the Thai curry with a side of cool Asian Cucumber Salad.
Tips and Tricks for BEST Thai Shrimp Curry
- Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh ingredients are key in Thai cuisine. Try to use fresh shrimp, herbs, and spices wherever possible for the best flavor. Freshly squeezed lime juice, freshly grated ginger, and freshly chopped cilantro or basil can make a significant difference.
- Shrimp Selection: Opt for large to jumbo shrimp, as they tend to stay juicy and don’t overcook as easily as the smaller ones. If using frozen shrimp, make sure they’re fully thawed before cooking.
- Coconut Milk: The creaminess of your curry depends significantly on the quality of coconut milk. Always opt for full-fat coconut milk, as low-fat versions can lead to a watery curry.
- Taste and Adjust: Thai food is all about balancing flavors. When your curry is nearly done, taste it and see what it needs. Is it too sweet? Add more lime juice. Too sour? Add a bit more sugar. Play around until you find the balance that suits your taste.
- Vegetable Choices: Feel free to add more vegetables like mushrooms, broccoli or zucchini for added texture and flavor. Remember to adjust the cooking time depending on the type and size of vegetables you’re using.
- Garnishing: Top your curry with fresh cilantro, basil, or some chopped green onions for added freshness and flavor right before serving.
- Spice Level: Adjust the spice level according to your preference. Authentic Thai curry is spicy and hot, and that can be achieved by using at least 4 Tbsp of curry paste, but if you are heat sensitive and looking for milder curry, use 2 Tbsp curry paste in the beginning. You can always add more curry paste according to your taste while the curry is simmering.
Leftovers and Storing Thai Shrimp Curry
As with any other curry or stew, Thai shrimp curry is excellent as leftovers. Make a huge batch and it’s a great meal prep idea. Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply warm over low heat on stove top until hot, or microwave.
We don’t recommend freezing this. The quality will go down, as coconut milk might break down after freezing.
There you go, one more cracking curry on GypsyPlate. Whenever you’re looking for the flavors that will tingle in your mouth for a long time, this Thai red curry hits the spot perfectly.
Try our version of this umami bomb and enjoy the true, authentic Thai flavors in your very own home.
Thai Shrimp Curry, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1.5 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 4-6 Tbsp Thai red curry paste (see notes for different "HOT" levels)
- 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced into chunks
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced into chunks
- 1 15oz can coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- cilantro, chopped
- scallion, chopped
- red chili pepper, chopped
- fresh basil leaves
- Heat oil over medium high heat in a pan and sauté shallots for 3-4 minutes. Add Thai red curry paste and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring continuously. Add in ginger and garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Add in bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk along with 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for 5-8 minutes.
- Stir in basil. Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking. At this point you can add more curry paste, soy sauce or sugar and simmer for few more minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through. Stir in lime juice. Garnish it with desired garnishes and serve immediately with warm jasmine or basamati rice.
- If you are using store bough curry paste, we recommend using Mae Ploy or Maesri green curry paste brands. You might not find them in your regular grocery store, but they can be easily found in any Asian grocery stores. They give you authentic Thai curry flavors. We have tried other brands, but we found the flavor isn't as good and they were too sweet.
- Authentic Thai curry is spicy and hot, and that can be achieved by using at least 4 Tbsp of curry paste, but if you are heat sensitive and looking for milder curry, use 2 Tbsp curry paste in the beginning. You can always add more curry paste according to your taste while the curry is simmering:
- For mild curry, use 2 Tbsp curry paste
- For medium hot curry, use 3-4 Tbsp curry paste
- For hot curry, use 5-6 Tbsp curry paste
- For Thai hot, use 6+ Tbsp curry paste
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