Skip takeout and make this easy recipe for fast and easy coconut shrimp curry. The best part is it's a quick weeknight dinner the whole family will enjoy. . When I posted the photo I got requests for the recipe, so here it is. It takes about 10 minutes!
When I need dinner fast, I often turn to shrimp because they cook fast and can be flavored in so many ways. Using full-fat coconut milk makes this Thai-inspired coconut shrimp curry delicious and dairy free. Curry powder gives it the beautiful golden color and flavor.
The creamy coconut sauce is spiced with curry powder, ginger and garlic, and the finishing touch, a squeeze of lime juice.
To make this easy, the ingredient list short and simple with listed add-ons if you choose. PLease see the recipe card for all ingredients and measurements.
- 2 cups full fat coconut milk (canned)
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ medium onion
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 fresh garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon ginger finely grated or jarred ginger paste
- 1 ¼ - 1 ½ pounds large raw shrimp
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Spice note - if you like things spicy, add a little cayenne pepper, a pinch of red chili flakes or a spoonful of red Thai curry paste for more heat
Why Wild Shrimp
Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the U.S., with 90% of it imported and only 2% inspected by U.S. regulatory agencies. Farmed shrimp are reported to be contaminated with banned chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, and other disgusting things.
According to this article, farmed shrimp are filthy. It's bad for you and the environment. Buy wild when shopping if possible. You will need 4-6 ounces per person.
I usually buy wild jumbo shrimp in the 16-20 or 13-15 size. This means there are 16-20 or 13-15 per pound, respectively. Smaller shrimp work too, such as 21-25 size. They will cook a little faster and are less expensive.
Buy shell on, then peel and devein shrimp yourself as the shell protects the meat. It takes just a few extra minutes of work to shell shrimp. In a hurry, buy them already peeled and deveined to save time.
About Curry Powder
Curry powder is a spice blend that comes from mild to hot. There are many blends, brands and styles of curry powders so have fun trying different ones to find what you like. Curry powder is golden because of turmeric, a wonderful and natural anti-inflammatory spice.
Thawing Shrimp Tips
You'll rarely find fresh shrimp at the market. Most are flash frozen at harvest. Buy them thawed at the fish counter or frozen. Frozen are handy to have in the freezer.
Shrimp come "IQF" or individually quick frozen. The easiest way to thaw them is overnight in the refrigerator. Place frozen shrimp in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, covered, to catch thawing water.
For a quick thaw, seal frozen shrimp in an airtight bag and submerge in cold water, changing the water very 30 minutes until thawed. Time will depend on the size of the shrimp. It will probably take about 45 minutes.
Shrimp cook quickly and are tender when simmered in spiced coconut milk.
- Whisk together the coconut milk, curry powder, and salt until blended. You can also shake it in a jar. Next clean and chop the leek. It gives a nice aromatic flavor and texture.
- In a large skillet with coconut oil (or olive oil), cook the leek, ginger and garlic over medium heat with coconut oil (or olive oil)
- Add the shrimp, coconut mixture and simmer a couple of minutes until shrimp are done.
- If your prep work is done, cooking time is just a few minutes.
For a simple dish, serve the cooked shrimp and rich sauce over white jasmine rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. Garnish with chopped cilantro or chopped green onion if desired. To brighten it up, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. A tossed green salad or easy veggie bring balance.
For another great recipe with shrimp and Asian flavors, try this easy Thai shrimp soup.
Fast and Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry
- 2 cups canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ medium leek, pale green part only
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger finely grated or minced jar
- 1 ½ pounds raw peeled deveined shrimp 16-20 or 21-25 size
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro optional
- Whisk together the coconut milk, curry powder and sea salt until smooth. You can also put it in a blender or shake well in a large jar.
- To prep the leek, cut off and discard the dark green top part. You will use just the pale and light green portion. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and run under cold water to dislodge any sandy grit or dirt. Dry the leek, then chop crosswise into thin half moons. You will need 1 cup of chopped leek.
- Warm the coconut oil over medium heat in a large saute or fry pan large enough to hold all of the shrimp in one layer. Add the leek and cook, stirring until softened, 1-2 minutes. If leek starts to brown, turn the heat down. Add the garlic and ginger, cook about 30 seconds.
- Add the shrimp to the pan, laying them flat in a single layer. Cook until pink on one side, 1-2 minutes, then turn shrimp over and pour in the coconut curry milk. Bring the pan to a simmer, place a lid on top and turn heat to low. Cook until shrimp are firm and pink on both sides, another 5 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp. Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro if desired.
Porsche guy says
This was easy and fast ! Tasty too. Served over white rice with salad. I can’t stand cilantro so i used parsley.
I have everything but the shrimp. I know what I am having for next week's menu.