An easy recipe for a very flavorful shrimp curry, made with coconut milk. Ready in just 30 minutes, it's ideal for a quick weeknight dinner.
Serve it on top of rice, cauliflower rice, or simply in bowls with spoons. Leftovers are good too, as long as you reheat them gently.
It amazes me how easy it is to make this delicious curry because it's so very delicious! You know how you expect highly flavorful dishes to be difficult to cook? Well, this one is certainly an exception!
Imagine plump, succulent shrimp cooked in a very flavorful, seasoned coconut milk broth. Now imagine this delightful dish on your table in just 30 minutes! Yes, it's that easy.
This dish is the perfect weeknight dinner. I don't know about you, but I always have frozen shrimp in my freezer. And I almost always have a can of coconut milk in my pantry. So when I'm not sure what to make for dinner, this easy recipe is often the perfect answer!
Here's an overview of the ingredients you'll need to make this shrimp curry. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
Canned coconut milk: Make sure you use full-fat coconut milk. The low-fat version isn't very good, both in terms of texture and in terms of flavor.
Avocado oil: This flavorless oil has a high smoke point, making it perfect for cooking.
Onion and garlic: You can use jarred fresh minced garlic, but for the best flavor, use fresh garlic cloves and mince them yourself.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the curry could end up too salty.
Ginger: Just like the garlic, it's fine to use minced ginger from a jar, but freshly grated ginger tastes much better.
Yellow curry powder: Make sure it's fresh - a stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Raw shrimp: Peeled and deveined. In this recipe I prefer the tail to be off, it's just easier to eat them this way when they're cooked in a curry.
Fresh basil: Adds not just color but also great flavor.
Making this shrimp curry is SO easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Cook aromatics (onion, garlic, and spices) in some coconut oil.
Stir in some coconut milk.
Then add shrimp to the tasty broth and cook them into plump perfection.
Basil doesn't last very long in the fridge, so it's best to buy it no longer than one or two days before you plan on making this recipe. Wrap it in a dry paper towel and store it in a plastic bag in your vegetable drawer.
Frequently asked questions
No. Since coconut milk is such an important part of this dish, it needs to taste good. So make sure you use canned, unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk. Light coconut milk is not creamy enough, and it also doesn't taste very good.
You can use heavy cream instead of coconut milk. The flavor profile will be somewhat different, but it should still be very good.
I don't recommend freezing it. The flavor and texture will be affected, and not in a good way.
Yes, but you should defrost them first. To quickly defrost them, place them in a bowl filled with lukewarm water for 5-7 minutes. Replace the water once during thawing. Drain on paper towels.
Variations and substitutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Replace the coconut milk with heavy cream.
- Use cilantro instead of basil.
- Make it spicy by adding a pinch (or two) of red pepper flakes.
- Use ghee or refined coconut oil instead of avocado oil.
Obviously, just like any curry, this dish is perfect when served over rice. It's just as good on top of cauliflower rice. And you can also simply serve it as I do, in bowls with a spoon!
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
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Shrimp Curry with Coconut Milk
- 1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or refined coconut oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped (6 oz)
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1.5 lb. raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil for garnish
- Shake the coconut milk well. Open the can and stir until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes.
- Add the onion and the kosher salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Cook, stirring, 1 more minute.
- Stir in the coconut milk. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, uncovered, occasionally stirring gently, until shrimp is pink and opaque, about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with basil and serve.