Shrimp Curry


Tomato is a classic foil for shrimp. Here the combination makes an appealing curry with plenty of sauce for drizzling on rice. Pair it with Smoky Napa Stir-Fry or a salad of cooked greens.

The green cayenne chiles give a nice little underlying heat; if you want more intensity, add a sprinkling of Red Chile Powder.

If you find yourself with leftovers, add a little water, taste, and adjust the seasoning, then chill to serve as a delicious cold soup.


  • Generous 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • cups chopped ripe tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 green cayenne chiles, seeded and minced, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • About ¼ cup coriander leaves (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)


Rinse the shrimp and set aside. If you have a mortar, pound the minced shallots and garlic to a paste.

Heat the oil in a wok or a wide heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turmeric and stir, then toss in the shallots and garlic, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for several minutes at a medium boil, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are well softened and the oil has risen to the surface.

Add the water and fish sauce, bring to a medium boil, and add the shrimp. Cook for several minutes, or until the shrimp start to turn pink, then toss in the minced chiles and salt, stir briefly, and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Turn out into a bowl, top with the coriander leaves, if using, and put out lime wedges, if you wish. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Crayfish Curry

For a crayfish version of this curry, use 1½ pounds crayfish in their shells and increase the fish sauce to 1 tablespoon and the green chiles to 4.