Prawns with Green Curry

A delicious classical Thai recipe that I have made more accessible without compromising the essential taste of Thai cookery. The green curry is domesticated, as it were, by the coolness of the coconut milk. This is a wonderful meal when served with plain rice.


  • 450 g (1 lb) raw prawns
  • 1½ tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tinned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • small handful basil leaves, shredded
  • 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves or 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • handful fresh coriander leaves


Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Using a small sharp knife, remove the fine digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water and pat them dry with kitchen paper.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is very hot, add the oil, and then add the garlic, shallots and cumin seeds and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until well toasted. Then add the shrimp paste and curry paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Now add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, basil leaves, lime leaves and the prawns. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. When the prawns are cooked, add the coriander leaves and give the mixture a good stir. Pour onto a platter and serve at once.