Coconut Shrimp Curry

This coconut shrimp curry is creamy, umami, and really easy to make. I love shrimp the most but you can easily use chicken or any other protein you would like. The best part is you can easily double or even triple the portion for when you want to make it for a larger group. This recipe will have your family and friends asking for more.

Type of curry paste for coconut shrimp curry

A major key to this recipe is using a good quality curry paste. I use red curry paste but you can also use panang curry paste. While in theory, you could make curry paste homemade, it is extremely time consuming to do so. This is the brand I use.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is the base for our sauce and it is an extremely important ingredient as well. The coconut milk adds most of the creamy texture and the coconut provides freshness in the curry. There are lactose free versions for those who need it. This is the brand I use as well:

coconut milk

Lime leaves in coconut shrimp curry

Citrus leaves are incredibly aromatic which is why I love adding them in my curries. These lime leaves will leave the curry smelling amazing and adding a slight sourness to it. You can find them at most Asian grocery stores.

lime leaves

Adding shrimp shells to curry

Usually when I make shrimp, I have to remove the shells and occasionally the head as well. Save them because they can add an extra umami and shrimp flavor to stocks and curries. I simmer the shells in the curry for about 15-20 minutes then strain and press out all the flavor.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

This coconut shrimp curry is creamy, umami, and easy to make.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine asian, fusion, thai


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • lbs shrimp
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp onion powder
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ small yellow onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • cup red curry paste
  • 2 cans coconut milk (400ml each)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 lime leaves
  • 1 birds eye chili
  • shrimp shells/head
  • tbsp corn starch
  • ¼ cup water
  • cilantro


  • Devein and shell your shrimp. Save the shells for later.
    1½ lbs shrimp
  • Butterfly the shrimp by making a shallow cut along the middle.
  • Season shrimp with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika.
    ½ tbsp salt, ½ tbsp garlic powder, ½ tbsp onion powder, ½ tbsp paprika
  • Add oil into a hot pan and sear shrimp 30-45 seconds on each side and remove. Don't worry if they are not cooked through yet we just want color.
    1 tbsp oil
  • Into the same pan add butter, chopped onions, and chopped garlic. Keep over medium heat and stir 1 minute.
    1 tbsp butter, ½ small yellow onion, 6 cloves garlic
  • Add red curry paste and stir 1 minute.
    ⅓ cup red curry paste
  • Pour in 2 cans coconut milk and break up the curry paste while the milk comes up to heat.
    2 cans coconut milk
  • Season with sugar, fish sauce, lime leaves, and chili pepper.
    1 tbsp sugar, ½ tbsp fish sauce, 3 lime leaves, 1 birds eye chili
  • If you have leftover shells from earlier add them into the curry as well, then cover and reduce to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    shrimp shells/head
  • Strain out the shells while extracting as much of the curry as possible.
  • Optional, but I like to blend the curry to make it extra smooth and creamy.
  • Add it back into the pan over medium heat.
  • Make cornstarch slurry by combining corn starch and water.
    1½ tbsp corn starch, ¼ cup water
  • Add cornstarch slurry into the curry while mixing until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Finish cooking your shrimp in the curry for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Top with cilantro and serve with rice.
Keyword coconut curry, curry, seafood, shrimp

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