Spicy Shrimp in Thai Coconut Sauce


I am a huge fan of curry dish, be it fish curry, chicken curry, tofu or shrimp curry. This is my all-time favorite to order whenever I go to Indian or Thai restaurant. I grew up in Philippines where a lot of our dishes are cooked with coconut milk, and I guess this is something I never outgrew even now that I am living in Canada. Curry is a very Asian dish, but I can never say that all Curry are made the same way.


Indian curry for instance is very well-known for the assortment of amazing spices that flavor their Curry. Indian curry has a very thick and curdling consistency. It is very flavorful and can be mildly hot to extremely hot. I love this kind of curry, this is the basic image that I have in my mind when I think of authentic Indian curry.


Thai Curry on the other hand is a lot different. Thai Curry mainly differ with Indian curries in terms of use of fresh herbs and aromatic leaves like cilantro or basil, as compared to use of mix spices for Indian Curries. Also, traditional Thai Curry uses curry paste and coconut milk to thicken and flavor the dish. Some Thai curry also uses fish sauce and peanut butter, which gives a very distinct Thai flavor, like the dipping sauce of Thai Chicken Satay. In terms of consistency, it is not as thick and curdling as Indian curry.


I like my curry spicy with thick sauce, regardless if it is Indian or Thai style curry. This Spicy Shrimp Thai Curry is cooked just the way I like my Thai Curry. Thick, creamy, spicy, flavorful with lots of fresh taste from fresh herbs. This is definitely a must try dish if you are onto curry. Good news is, this same recipe can be made using chicken, fish, or tofu if you want to go meatless. This is a sure hit for lunch or dinner. Let’s get started!

Spicy Shrimp in Thai Coconut Sauce


  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (I used fine salt)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes (adjust as desired)
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream for a thicker sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice (about 1/2 large lime or lemon, juiced)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 green jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 large red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder – optional


  1. Peel and devein shrimp. Place the shrimp in a bowl with 1 tbsp of the oil, garlic, ground ginger, lime juice, kosher salt and red chili flakes. Toss to coat and let marinade for 10 minutes.
  2. In bowl, mix coconut milk, peanut butter and brown sugar. Stir well until peanut butter and sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  3. In a heated pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, green jalapeno pepper, red chili pepper and shrimp (with the marinade juice). Cook for 2 – 4 minutes or until opaque, do not over cook or else you will get a tough and gummy shrimp. Set aside and transfer the shrimp to plate.
  4. Using the same pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour coconut milk mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until sauce is reduced by half. Continue simmering (medium heat) until you get the consistency you prefer. Thicker sauce means longer simmering. Make sure the vegetables are cook to your liking before adding the shrimp.
  6. Add the shrimp to the skillet with the basil and cilantro and toss to coat. Cook for another 1 minute.

Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with more cilantro and basil, sliced red jalapeño as desired.

Spicy Shrimp Curry

There you go! A delicious meatless dish for you and your family. If you like this post, kindly click on the “Like” button below. Thanks!


Are you craving for a more meaty curry? Check out my  Spicy Thai Red Chicken Curry in Coconut Sauce. Your going to love it too!

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Categories: Cooking, Seafood

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