Thai Shrimp Coconut Curry Recipe

Thai Red Curry and Coconut Soup With Shrimp
TheCrimsonMonkey/E+/Getty Images
  • 23 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 with a side of rice
Ratings (8)

Planning to have friends over? Serve them this special curry and you'll have friends for life! The curry sauce is so delicious, yet easy to make. The secret ingredient in this curry is a hint of tomato in an otherwise basic yellow curry, which marries beautifully with shrimp. Also contributing to this sumptuous curry are pineapple chunks (fresh or canned) plus coconut milk and dry toasted coconut for a tropical-tasting Thai curry you'll want to make again and again.

What You'll Need

  • For the Curry Sauce:
  • 1 can coconut (regular or lite: good-quality)
  • 1 lemongrass (stalk finely sliced and minced or 2-3 tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass)
  • 1-2 chilies (red fresh, minced or substitute 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili)
  • 1/4 cup onion (red, minced)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (minced or 1/2 tbsp. bottled pureed garlic)
  • 1 piece galangal (or fresh ginger, thumb-size grated or minced)
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce (more to taste, as desired)
  • 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (or 1 additional tbsp. fish sauce)
  • 3/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander (ground)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (frozen or fresh)
  • 1-2 tbsp. sugar (brown, to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup (or 3/4 tbsp. tomato paste - if using tomato paste, sweeten it with 1 more tsp. sugar)
  • Garnish: lime juice (squeeze)
  • Ingredients for Curry:
  • 12-14 medium to large fresh shrimp (fresh medium to large, shells removed; tails can be left on if desired)
  • 1 14 fl. oz can pineapple (chunks or 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup coconut (dry roasted)
  • Garnish: handful of fresh coriander

How to Make It

For instructions on how to buy and prepare fresh pineapple, see my: How to Cut a Pineapple.

  1. Place all curry sauce ingredients - except the lime leaves - together in a food processor, blender, or large chopper and process well. or, simply whisk the ingredients together, stirring well to combine.
  2. Pour sauce into a wok or deep pot on the stove. Add the kaffir lime leaves, and turn the heat up to medium-high.
  1. Stir occasionally. When the sauce reaches a boil, turn down the heat to medium. Add the pineapple chunks, cherry tomatoes, and shrimp, stirring to incorporate. Simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and look plump.
  2. Remove from heat and cover with a lid to keep warm while you toast the coconut.
  3. Place dry shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as desired) in a dry frying pan over medium-high. "Dry fry" the coconut, stirring continually until it turns golden-brown and is fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl. Tip: Coconut will burn easily, so be sure to stay with it while it toasts. Remove immediately from the pan when toasted, or the heat from the pan will continue to toast it.
  4. Add 1/2 the toasted coconut to the curry, stirring to incorporate.
  5. Do a taste test for salt and sweetness, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, and more sugar if you'd like it sweeter. Also, you can add more fresh chili or chili sauce if you'd like it spicier.
  6. To serve, transfer curry into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted coconut over top, plus a little fresh coriander. Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice, and enjoy!