Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This recipe takes advantage of off-the-shelf Thai curry paste, of which there are many varieties. Look for them in Asian markets, in the “ethnic food” aisle, or online. Kaffir lime leaves are also available fresh or frozen in Asian markets or (like me) you can grow your own if you’re in a climate that is tolerant of citrus. Galangal is a relative of ginger used extensively in Thai cooking. Its thin skin means it doesn’t need to be peeled. You can use this same recipe approach for all kinds of fish, chicken, or pork.


  • pounds medium (21-25 size) shrimp
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred
  • 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste, or to taste
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, or 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown or palm sugar
  • 1 cup lightly packed chopped fresh spinach or romaine lettuce leaves
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and finely slivered fresh ginger or galangal
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely slivered garlic
  • 1 cup diced and seeded fresh tomato
  • ½ cup fresh tender basil, mint, or cilantro leaves


Peel and devein the shrimp, brine if you like, and set aside. Combine the coconut milk, curry paste, and lime leaves in a sauce-pan, and bring to a boil. Whisk the mixture to dissolve the curry paste and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Discard the lime leaves and stir in the fish sauce, sugar, and spinach. Transfer to a blender and puree. Adjust the hot/salt/sweet/tart elements to your taste with additional curry, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Set aside.

In a sauté pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and quickly sauté the onion, pepper, ginger, and garlic over high heat until lightly colored and crisp-tender; add to the curry sauce. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pan and sauté the shrimp over high heat until just done. Pour the curry sauce and vegetables into the pan and heat through. Stir in the tomato and the basil leaves. Serve with steamed rice.


Steamed aromatic rice, such as jasmine or basmati