Thai Green Curry with Shrimp
This simple Thai-inspired green curry with shrimp and veggies gives you a taste of your favorite takeout at home in about 20 minutes. The shrimp simmer to tender perfection in a garlic and ginger-infused coconut sauce.
No doubt about it: curry plus shrimp are a match made in heaven. Curry pastes are widely available and serve as a fabulous shortcut to making flavorful homemade versions of your takeout favorites, and shrimp are by nature so quick-cooking that you’ll have this whole meal thrown together in as little as 20 minutes, with no sacrifice in the flavor department.
You’ll love that this meal..
- Is light yet flavorful. Garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and lime keep things zippy.
- Packs in the veggies. Toss in shredded carrots and bell pepper for a one-and-done bowl that has veggies right in with the main. Swap or add to your hearts content.
- Takes 20 minutes. You may finish making the curry before your rice or noodles are cooked, with time to clean up — or even relax! 🙂
Ingredients & Common Substitutions
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!
- Shrimp: Purchase raw shrimp that have been pre-peeled and deveined for the easiest, fastest prep. You can cook them with the tails on or off — leaving the tails on can look nice and add a smidge of additional flavor, but removing the shrimp tails before cooking makes this easier to serve to kids who may struggle with removing them on their plates.
- Veggies: Pre-shredded carrot works well here and is a major time-saver, or grate your own carrot using a food processor or box grater. Any color bell pepper will work well, simply seeded and chopped into long, thin slices. I especially love the color contrast a red bell pepper provides. Lastly, use either a yellow or white onion.
- Green Curry Paste: I primarily use Thai Kitchen brand, simply because it’s so widely available. Other brands are said to pack more of a punch, so if you’re using something else, you may want to use less than the whole jar until you try it and find the right heat level for you.
- Coconut Milk: Use full-fat coconut milk, not coconut cream. Be sure to shake the can and stir it very well before adding to the sauce.
What is Thai basil?
Thai basil, according to the illustrious Bon Appetit, is an herb native to Southeast Asia and its cuisines, with a distinctive savory, spicy, anise-like flavor that marks many traditional Thai and Vietnamese dishes. The plant itself has sturdy, slim, pointed leaves, many with serrated edges, and a noticeably purple hue to the stems and small flowers that grow among the leaves.
Where to buy Thai basil and what to substitute
Thai basil is most commonly available at Asian supermarkets, and is well worth seeking out if you plan to make a curry or noodle dish that calls for it. I have occasionally spotted Thai basil at my local Whole Foods, but not on a reliable basis.
It has no genuine substitute. In dire straits, yes, you can use Italian basil or even cilantro for a different kind of freshness in this curry. It’s still delicious, but not truly the same.
Love Thai curries like this? Plant Thai basil in your herb garden! It grows really well, lasts a long time, and looks beautiful, to boot.
How To Make Thai Green Curry with Shrimp
- Sauté onions and aromatics in a smidge of coconut or vegetable oil.
- Finish and simmer the sauce. Coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar make the sauce creamy and balance the flavors.
- Add shrimp and veggies. They will cook straight in the sauce for maximum flavor and minimal fuss.
- Garnish and serve. Lime wedges, Thai basil leaves, and any other garnishes you like add fresh color and zip. Add salt to taste, and serve over jasmine rice.
If serving the curry with rice or noodles, start them first so that everything will be done at about the same time—the curry comes together more quickly than you might expect.
Key Tip–Let it Simmer. If you have extra time while waiting for the rice, use it to let the sauce simmer before adding the shrimp and vegetables. Letting the shrimp and vegetables cook too long or at too rapid of a boil will make them rubbery and mushy, respectively, but letting the sauce simmer before this stage will only deepen and intensify the flavors.
- Make it Meatless: Omit the shrimp, and replace with browned tofu for a meatless protein.
- Add More Veggies: Use snow peas, sliced zucchini, sliced squash, or green beans in place of or in addition to the shredded carrots and bell peppers.
- Keep it Low Carb: This Thai shrimp curry is naturally low in carbohydrates, and can be served over cauliflower rice to keep it that way.
Storage & Reheating
This curry keeps very well in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 days. Store in airtight containers and reheat portions over medium heat on the stovetop or at 50% power in the microwave. Using 50% power when microwaving shrimp, other seafood, and even chicken really helps to prevent that tell-tale drying out we all hate.
I do not recommend freezing leftovers of this recipe, because the sauce is likely to separate, and both the shrimp and veggies may have a grainy texture when defrosted and heated again.
More Shrimp Recipes
If you love these flavors, try my recipes for 15 minute garlic butter shrimp, garlic lime shrimp with coconut rice, or sheet pan honey garlic shrimp with broccoli next. All quick and easy meals guaranteed to satisfy the family or dinner guests!
Craving more Thai flavors? This kid-friendly take on Thai sweet basil chicken is another favorite here.
I hope you love this Thai-inspired green curry as much as we do! It’s one of my favorite ways to change up our dinner routines while still getting heart-healthy seafood and veggies on the table.
If you try this Thai Green Curry with Shrimp, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
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Thai Green Curry with Shrimp and Vegetables
- 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil
- 1 small yellow or white onion thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger see note
- 1 (4 ounce) jar Thai green curry paste see note
- 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 bell pepper any color, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup shredded or thinly-sliced carrots
- small handful Thai basil or cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- rice and lime wedges for serving
- Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
- If serving with rice or noodles, let the sauce continue to simmer at this stage until those are nearly finished.
- When almost ready to serve, add shrimp, peppers, and carrots to the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes, just until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Stir in Thai basil or cilantro and lime juice. Remove from the heat.
- Serve heaping spoonfuls of the curry over rice, noodles, or other sides as desired, with extra lime wedges and basil or cilantro for garnish.
- About the ginger. I usually use frozen cubes of crushed ginger. They are so darn convenient! I buy Dorot brand, and use 2 cubes for this recipe, which is equivalent to about 2 teaspoons of the fresh grated stuff. Look for the cubes in the freezer section near other frozen veggies.
- About the curry paste. I primarily use Thai Kitchen brand, simply because it’s so widely available. Other brands are said to pack more of a punch, so if you’re using something else, you may want to use less than the whole jar until you try it and find the right heat level for you.
- Start rice first. If serving the curry with rice, start it first so that everything will be done at about the same time—the curry comes together more quickly than you might expect.
- Let it simmer. If you have extra time while waiting for the rice, use it to let the sauce simmer before adding the shrimp and vegetables. Letting the shrimp and vegetables cook too long will make them rubbery and mushy, respectively, but letting the sauce simmer before this stage will only deepen and intensify the flavors.