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Curry Coconut Shrimp

Making a delicious Thai style curry is easier than you think! I specifically chose ingredients that are easy to find and will give you a take-out quality coconut shrimp curry in under an hour!

Coconut Shrimp Curry in a black bowl with jasmine rice.

You are sure to love this Coconut Curry Shrimp

Want to know my favorite part of this recipe? Most of the ingredients are things that you could keep on hand as pantry/freezer staples. That means you could whip this out without a complicated grocery run!

I also love this recipe because you can adapt it to your liking! Swap out the shrimp and vegetables for ingredients you like better and make it spicy if you like! I’ll give you some ideas for adapting this recipe down below.

Also, my kids really love this. Well…. as long as I don’t put any “sus” vegetables in it. But still — no complaints here.

Ingredients for coconut shrimp curry: shrimp, coconut milk, curry paste, coconut sugar, fish sauce, limes, cilantro, potatoes, carrots, onion.

Shrimp Coconut Curry ingredients 

  • Uncooked medium shrimp – I like to buy them peeled with the tails off to save time.
  • Thai Curry Paste – More on this below
  • Full-Fat Coconut Milk – You’ll get the best flavor and thick, rich sauce if you use full-fat.
  • Fish Sauce – A condiment commonly used in Thai cooking. Keep some on hand! I linked to other Thai inspired recipes that use it, and it lasts a long time.
  • Coconut Sugar – You can use any sweetener, but I like this one here.
  • Potatoes – Any type is fine: Russets, Yukon gold, or red potatoes.
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Limes
  • Fresh Cilantro or Basil
Two kinds of curry paste -- Thai Kitchen brand and Mae Ploy.

A Little About Thai Curry Paste

Thai curry paste is the ultimate ingredient because it contains all of the hard-to-find ingredients for Thai cuisine (shrimp paste, kefir lime, galangal, lemongrass) all in one handy condiment!

There are two kind of Thai style curry paste that I recommend that are also easy to find.

Thai Kitchen Curry Paste: Usually comes in Red or Green. Despite the heat level on the side indicating it is spicy, it’s not spicy. I’ve used an entire jar in one batch of curry before without complaints from my kids. You can find this in most grocery stores in the Thai/Asian aisle.

Mae Ploy Curry Paste: This is my favorite. I believe it has a better flavor than Thai Kitchen, but these curry pastes are spicier. Yellow and Green curry pastes tend to be more mild than Red, Panang, or Massaman. They’re also shelf stable before you open it and last a long time in the fridge. You can find them on Amazon in different packs: Mae Ploy Curry Paste.

Thai red curry paste

Coconut Shrimp Curry Recipe variations

Ohhhh so many options here! Here are several ways you can change up this recipe:

  • Change the Vegetables: I used potatoes and carrots for this version because they’re simple, keep for a long time, and my kids never complain about them. Feel free to use just about any vegetable you like here! If you use quicker cooking vegetables like snow peas, mushrooms, or asparagus, you might want to knock a few minutes off of the cooking time.
  • Change the Protein: Not a shrimp person? Use thinly sliced chicken breast or thigh meat or thinly sliced steak instead! You can add them into the end when you would normally add the strimp.
  • Add some heat: I like to add my spicy condiments at the end because of little people in my home who complain about things being too spicy. But if you want to make the whole curry spicy, add a couple teaspoons of Asian style chili paste like samba oelek or sriracha. Or a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Experiment with curry paste: Generally there are about 6 types of easy to find Thai curry paste: Yellow, Red, Green, Massaman, and Panang. Depending on the brands, they have varying heat levels, too. (See above!)

How to make Coconut Shrimp Curry 

  1. Cook the onions in oil until they’re soft. Add the curry paste with a little extra oil and fry it for a minute. Then add 1/2 can of coconut milk and stir it up until it’s bubbly and thick.
  2. Add the rest of the coconut milk and all the ingredients except for the shrimp and garnishes.
  3. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. (Start cooking your rice if you haven’t already!)
  4. Stir in the shrimp and cook for another 3-4 minutes until it’s fully pink.
  5. Serve with steamed rice and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and/or green onions.

How to serve this Curry Coconut Shrimp

I like to serve this coconut shrimp curry with freshly steamed jasmine or basmati rice and some fresh cilantro. Maybe a squeeze of lime juice, too.

If you’re avoiding grains, toss some cauliflower rice in the oven when you start the curry and it’ll be done when the curry is finished. Here’s a recipe if you need it: Roasted Cauliflower Rice.

You could also thin it out with a little chicken broth and eat it like a soup!

How to store Curry Coconut Shrimp

Store leftover in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze this curry using freezer-safe containers. I like to use these deli containers on Amazon for stuff like this. They’re great for freezing broth and soups and general storage, too.

To reheat, transfer the curry to a saucepan on the stove and cook over medium or medium low until completely warmed.

Coconut Shrimp Curry in a black bowl with some steamed jasmine rice and fresh cilantro.

Shrimp Curry Coconut Milk FAQs 

What does coconut milk do to curry?

It creates a creamy texture and adds richness to the flavor. It also adds healthy fats!

How do you keep coconut milk from splitting in curry?

Sometimes coconut milk will separate, but I haven’t had that happen very often. If you’re concerned, then add the coconut milk right at the end and don’t let it boil.

How do you thicken curry after adding coconut milk?

You shouldn’t need to thicken curry after adding the coconut milk unless you used light coconut milk or have vegetables that gave off a lot of liquid during cooking. Use full-fat coconut milk to prevent this.

But if you’re wanting to thicken it, try simmering it for about 5 minutes. Or pull some of the liquid out into a small bowl, whisk 2-3 Tablespoons of a starch like cornstarch, tapioca starch, or arrowroot into that liquid, and then stir it back into the curry. It should thicken within a few minutes.

Can I make this vegetarian?

You can make it meatless by swapping out the shrimp for tofu or a can of drained chickpeas and use vegetable broth, but to make it completely vegan/vegetarian would be tricky because all of the curry paste I’ve seen contained shrimp paste. You could use my Thai Spice Blend in place of the curry paste — use 3-4 Tablespoons until you get the right flavor.

If you make one of my recipes, be sure to post it on social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!

Shrimp Curry with Coconut Milk

Shrimp Curry with Coconut Milk

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Making a delicious Thai style curry is easier than you think! I specifically chose ingredients that are easy to find and will give you a take-out quality coconut shrimp curry in under an hour!


  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced small
  • 3 Tablespoons Thai curry paste
  • 2 13-oz cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 limes
  • 2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peels and tails removed
  • Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish


  1. Start your rice if you're serving it that way.
  2. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the coconut oil over high heat in a very large skillet or wide saucepan that's fitted with a lid.
  3. Add the onions and cook for 6-8 minutes until they soften and begin to turn a little golden brown.
  4. Push the onions to the sides to create some space in the center of the skillet. Add the other Tablespoon of coconut oil. When it melts, add the curry paste. Break it up and let it fry in the oil for a minute or so.
  5. Add 1/2 can of coconut milk (this doesn't have to be precise) to the skillet and cook, stirring, until you have a thick, luscious sauce.
  6. To the skillet, add the rest of the coconut milk, coconut sugar, fish sauce, juice from 1 lime, and chopped vegetables.
  7. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium or medium low and let it simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes until your vegetables are cooked through. (Won't take as long for quicker cooking veg if you don't use carrots and potatoes.)
  8. Stir in the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes until the shrimp is completely pink and cooked through.
  9. Serve curry immediately with steamed rice.


1. You can swap out the carrots and potatoes for other vegetables if you like. If they are quicker cooking vegetables, then you won't have to simmer the curry for as long.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving Calories 384Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 22gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 120mgSodium 1227mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 8gProtein 17g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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