Thai Red Curry with Shrimp

Thai red curry with shrimp makes a delightful dinner for two or the whole family.

It can be made with homemade red Thai curry paste or from one of the many varieties of prepared curry pastes currently available in most grocery stores.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp Recipe

Here’s our recipe for Thai red curry with shrimp. We had it for a party of 10 recently and everyone raved about it.


  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 can whole coconut milk – solids removed, liquids reserved in can
  • 3-6 tbsp. red Thai curry paste, homemade with the Byrd House Paleo recipe or purchase pre-made
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 32 oz. seafood stock or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 large onions cut into ¼ in rings
  • 1 green bell pepper cut lengthwise ¼ in slices
  • 1 red bell pepper cut lengthwise in ¼ slices
  • 1 8 oz. can bamboo shoots
  • 2 medium heads  of Bok Choy, stalks chopped into ½ inch slices and green parts torn by hand into 3-4 inch pieces
  • 3-4 sweet colorful peppers coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Red Boat fish sauce
  • 2 lbs. shrimp, fresh or pre-cooked, deveined and shelled completely
  • Basil for garnish – Use sweet basil, sweet Thai basil or Holy Basil

To a large fry pan, wok, skillet or sauté pan set on medium high heat add two tablespoons of coconut oil together with the solidified coconut cream from one can of whole coconut milk reserving the remaining liquid coconut milk to add later. We used a large enameled skillet over medium high heat to begin building the curry. Heat the coconut oil and coconut mixture until it bubbles but does not smoke – 2-3 minutes.


DSC01570When the oil and coconut cream mixture is hot and bubbling, stir in 3-6 tablespoons of the curry paste (depending on your desired heat level) and fry at medium high heat for 3-5 minutes to release the fragrances locked up in the paste. The paste should begin to bubble and release its fragrance. Reduce heat if paste begins to burn. See our recipe for homemade traditional Thai red curry paste.



If the curry paste does not contain ground cumin coriander or white pepper, add a teaspoon of each and fry along with the curry paste. Of course, you can roast these spices whole beforehand and grind in a coffee grinder for a richer flavor.

[Note, if you were using beef, pork or lamb, the meat would be added at this point in order for it to cook and tenderize. Since we are using shrimp it is added at the end of the process.]

Pour in the remaining coconut liquid from the whole coconut milk can along with a can of light coconut milk and 32 ounces of seafood or chicken stock (not broth) and bring to a boil, immediately returning to a vigorous simmer.


Add the onions, bell peppers, Bok Choy stems, bamboo shoots and chopped sweet peppers. Add salt and continue simmering at lower heat until the vegetables have softened – one hour.

Add the Bok Choy greens and the fish sauce and simmer 5 minutes.



Add the cooked shrimp and continue the simmer for no more than 3 minutes.


Remove from heat and serve in bowls over white rice. Garnish with sweet basil, sweet Thai basil or Holy Basil.


Note, when we extended this recipe to serve ten guests, we increased the paste to nine tablespoons and used three 32 oz. boxes of seafood stock and three cans of coconut milk. We also transferred the cooked paste to a large stock pot for the simmer. We also needed three pounds of shrimp rather than two.





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