This Shrimp Curry recipe is exploding with flavor but incredibly easy to make with pantry friendly ingredients. You will lose your mind over good it is!
This Coconut Curry Shrimp is huge on flavor, low on effort, customizable, pantry friendly and can’t-stop-eating-delicious. It’s made with juicy, plump shrimp in a fragrant, lusciously creamy, coconut curry tomato sauce laced with a tapestry of spices, aromatic ginger, garlic and cilantro. I’ve made this shrimp curry recipe with my favorite potatoes, cauliflower and bell peppers but you can use whatever veggies you love or have on hand. Serve this recipe over rice, zoodles, etc. with naan and prepare for the barrage of compliments!
HOW TO MAKE curry shrimp VIDEo
Ingredients in Shrimp Curry Recipe
This easy shrimp curry recipe is packed with the flavors of Indian spices, creamy coconut, aromatic ginger, garlic and onion. The juicy shrimp are marinated in lime juice and a few choice spices to ensure that every layer of the dish is seasoned. You’ll need the following ingredients to make the coconut shrimp curry (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
FAQs About Prepping Shrimp
If you are new to cooking shrimp, here is some helpful information to prepare and cook shrimp perfectly every time, whether for this coconut curry shrimp recipe or any of my other fabulous shrimp recipes:
Yes! I use frozen shrimp all the time. Just make sure you thaw the shrimp completely and pat it dry before using in the recipe.
There are two options for thawing your frozen shrimp:
1. Easy Thaw Method: The most hands-off method is to transfer your bag of shrimp to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
2. Quick Thaw Method: Transfer the shrimp to a freezer size bag and tightly seal. Add the bag to a large bowl and submerge with cold tap water; place a heavy bowl (you can fill it with cans) over the shrimp so it doesn’t float and stays completely submerged. Let the shrimp sit for 10-20 minutes. After 10 minutes, replace the water with new cold tap water and submerge the shrimp again. Let shrimp sit an additional 10- 20 minutes. If the shrimp isn’t completely thawed, repeat as needed.
I like to purchase shrimp that is already peeled and deveined so all the work is done for me! If you purchase shrimp that is not deveined, it will still have the dark, sandy intestinal tract running along the back of the shrimp just beneath the surface. Sometimes it will be very dark and sometimes it will be more difficult to spot depending on when the shrimp ate last.
While eating the shrimp with the veins won’t harm you, it can add grittiness and distract from the clean shrimp taste so I highly recommended removing it.
To devein shrimp:
1. First, locate the vein in the shrimp running along its back.
2. Make a shallow cut along the back and use the tip of the knife to lift it out.
3. The veins and shells can then be thrown away.
4. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry.
You may have noticed a second dark tract running along the shrimp’s belly even if you have purchased “deveined” shrimp. This tract is NOT another digestive tract but the nerve cord and does not need to be removed.
Shrimp is such an easy protein to work with because it doesn’t need long to marinate at all! I typically marinate the shrimp for this shrimp curry recipe for roughly 15 minutes while I prep the remaining ingredients. Shrimp should not be marinated longer than 60 minutes because the seasonings will draw moisture out of the shrimp and make it dry and the acid (lime juice in this case, can also be lemon or vinegar in other recipes) can break down the delicate meat and make it mushy. Larger shrimp is more forgiving, but I still wouldn’t push it.
How to Make Shrimp Curry
Now that we’ve covered the basics of prepping the ingredients for this coconut shrimp curry recipe, it’s time to get cooking! Full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post, but here’s a brief walkthrough followed by my top tips for curried shrimp success:
- Step 1: Marinate the shrimp. Whisk together the lime juice, curry powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and turn to evenly coat. Set aside while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Step 2: Cook the shrimp. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan (this is the exact braiser I use). Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook just until opaque, flipping halfway through. Transfer to a plate until ready to add back to the skillet.
- Step 3: Sauté the veggies and aromatics. Add another drizzle of oil to the pan. Add the onion and potatoes and cook until the onions soften. Add the cauliflower, bell peppers, ginger, garlic and all seasonings and cook for one additional minute.
- Step 4: Add the coconut milk. Whisk some the coconut milk with the cornstarch and add to the skillet along with the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and basil.
- Step 5: Simmer the curry sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer with the lid slightly askew with about a 1-inch opening. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Step 5: Finish the sauce. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro followed by the shrimp. Season to taste with salt, pepper or cayenne pepper to taste.
Tips for MAking the Best Curry Shrimp
This shrimp curry recipe is very quick and easy to make, but there are a few tips for optimal success:
possible Curried Shrimp variations
You can customize the coconut shrimp curry by swapping the vegetables using a different protein, etc. Here are a few ideas:
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- 1 13.5 oz. can quality coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups 1/2-inch cubed, peeled, Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp EACH curry powder (yellow), ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, paprika, chili powder, salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
- 1/8 tsp EACH ground cinnamon, nutmeg
- 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- Marinate shrimp: Whisk 1 tablespoon lime juice and Shrimp seasonings together in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and turn to evenly coat. Set aside while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook Shrimp: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in large saucepan/braiser (this is the exact one I use). Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook just until opaque, flipping halfway through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. You can remove the tails once cooled, if desired.
- Curry sauce: Whisk the coconut milk and cornstarch together in a liquid measuring cup (or bowl); set aside.
- Add another drizzle of oil to the pan if needed. Add the onions and potatoes and cook over medium-high heat, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. (I recommend measuring out the spices in between stirring the onions/potatoes).
- Cover with the lid slightly askew, with about a 1-inch opening, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, stirring and replacing the lid occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn. Add additional broth as needed to achieve your desired sauce consistency.
- Stir in the lime juice and cilantro, followed by the shrimp. Season with additional cayenne pepper (taste first!) and garnish with additional cilantro and lime if desired. Serve with rice, zoodles, etc.
- Spice level: The curried shrimp is mild without any cayenne pepper. Adding ⅛ teaspoon to the shrimp marinade and ⅛ teaspoon to the curry sauce is mild-medium and adding ¼ teaspoon to both is medium. If you’re not a fan of heat, I suggest adding ⅛ teaspoon to the shrimp and waiting to add the cayenne pepper to taste after the curry sauce is done simmering. You can also add heat to individual servings.
- Prep ahead: Chop the cauliflower and bell peppers and store in the refrigerator, chop the potatoes and submerge in water in the refrigerator, chop and refrigerate aromatics, and measure the spices.
- Meal prep: Divide the curry shrimp between airtight containers along with rice, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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