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Easy Thai Shrimp Curry – Once Upon a Chef


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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.

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 ingredientsThe recipes calls for a few Thai ingredients that you can find at most large supermarkets:

  • 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: Be sure to buy full-fat coconut milk as opposed to low-fat, which often contains many additives. 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 whisked back together into a creamy emulsion.
  • Fish sauce: This is a dark, pungent liquid used in Southeast Asian cooking. Contrary to what you might expect, it 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 bottle — it keeps forever.

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.

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

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

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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.


  • 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

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  • 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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