Stir-fried Chilli Prawns

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


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All Thai curries are ‘hot’ but some are more hot than others. This is as it should be, because ‘curry’ refers not to a particular formula of seasonings and herbs but rather to a manner of cooking foods in different combinations of spices mixed together to form a paste.

Red curry paste is quite hot and, as is usual with curried Thai food, diners should be on the alert. In this recipe, the assertive taste of the prawns stands up well against the red curry, assisted by the cooling effects of the lime juice and coconut milk.


  • 450 g (1 lb) raw prawns
  • 1–2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tinned coconut milk


  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 2 small fresh red or green Thai chillies, seeded and shredded


Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Using a small sharp knife, remove the fine digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt, then rinse well and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Combine the curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and coconut milk in a wok or large pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Then add the prawns and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the prawns are cooked and firm.

Finally, stir well, garnish with the basil leaves and chillies and serve at once.