In this Thai shrimp curry recipe, coconut milk and Thai red curry paste join forces to make a rich, flavorful sauce that perfectly complements shrimp and veggies. Serve with rice for an easy weeknight dinner with an international flair.
Thai red curry paste and coconut milk are a perfect match. Add in shrimp, veggies, and rice and you’re set for a tasty weeknight dinner. Whenever I go to Thai restaurants, I always gravitate toward dishes made with coconut milk. There’s something so comforting about coconut milk, whether it’s used to make coconut rice (see this recipe for Miso Salmon & Coconut Rice) or mixed together with spices like in this Thai shrimp curry to make a creamy, savory sauce.
How to Make Thai Curry Shrimp
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I take an unconventional route in this recipe: roasting the veggies rather than sauteeing them. I find that throwing the onion, bell peppers, and zucchini in the oven is easier and takes less time overall since I’m able to start working on the shrimp and the sauce without needing to stir veggies on the stove. If you don’t want to heat up your oven, you can easily saute the veggies on the stove before continuing with the rest of the recipe.
Start by preheating your oven and slicing up the veggies. Then bake the veggies and prep your sauce. I like to use prepared ginger paste and prepared garlic paste like these found in my local grocery store in the refrigerated section near the fresh herbs. It’s not quite as good as fresh, but a lot easier to use and perfect for weeknight dinners. If you don’t have the prepared ginger and garlic, then go ahead and mince and grate them now. Measure out the right amount of ginger and garlic and set aside in a small bowl. Then grab another bowl and measure out the sauce base: cornstarch, soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Mix together and set it aside.
Now you’re ready to cook your shrimp. I used extra-large frozen shrimp, so I thawed and peeled them for this recipe. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with some vegetable or sesame oil. When the oil is heated through, add the shrimp, cover, and cook for about six minutes. Then remove the cover, stir, and cook for a few minutes more. I find that covering during the cooking process keeps the shrimp moister than sauteeing without a cover.
When the shrimp is done, move to a bowl, wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and place the pan back on the stove. Add the remaining oil, heat, then add the garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute then add the coconut milk, red curry paste, and sweet chili sauce. I’ve used the Mae Ploy brand or Maggi brand of sweet chili sauce, and both work equally well. You can usually find them in the Asian section of your grocery store. After the coconut mixture starts to boil, then remix the cornstarch mixture and add it into the coconut milk, stirring well.
When the sauce has thickened a bit, add in the roasted veggies and shrimp and cook through for about another minute. Then serve with rice and fresh basil and limes.
Helpful Tools and Ingredients
Nonstick Skillet – An essential in my kitchen for cooking everything
Nonstick Half Sheet Pan – Using a nonstick sheet pan for this recipe means that you don’t even have to grease the pan first. It’s so easy to clean up!
Sweet Chili Sauce – try the Mae Ploy brand, Maggi brand or something comparable at your own store
Thai Red Curry Paste – essential for Thai curries and soups
If you try this recipe for Thai shrimp curry, leave a comment and review below and let me know how it worked out for you!
Thai Shrimp Curry
- 1 large onion
- 2 large bell peppers
- 1 large zucchini
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or sesame oil divided
- 2 pounds extra large shrimp
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste or minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste or grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 can coconut milk lite or regular
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- basil and limes for serving
- rice for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. For the zucchini I like to cut it lengthwise into quarters and then slice. If using a smaller zucchini you can use half moon shapes instead.
- Place the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. If you’d prefer not to use the oven, you can saute the onion for a few minutes in a large nonstick skillet, add the bell pepper, and then add the zucchini until browned and soft.
- While the veggies are baking, make the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove following package directions.
- If you’re using prepared refrigerated garlic and ginger, measure them out into a small bowl. If not using prepared garlic and ginger, mince and grate them and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Mix the soy sauce with cornstarch, sugar, and lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Then prepare the shrimp. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the shrimp, cover, and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove the cover, stir, and cook for another 3-5 minutes until just cooked through. If using smaller shrimp, lower the cook time accordingly.
- Move the shrimp to a bowl, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, and place it back on the burner.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, then the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute.
- Then add the coconut milk, red curry paste, and sweet chili sauce.
- When the sauce begins to boil, mix in the cornstarch mixture well. Allow to thicken for a minute or two, then add in the roasted veggies and shrimp.
- Serve with rice, basil, and fresh lime wedges.