Thai Red Curry Shrimp

This shrimp recipe came about by accident. For Christmas I asked for a couple of cookbooks I’d had my eye on but didn’t buy for myself. Frank got them for me and, by mistake, added a third, Melissa Clark’s Dinner, Changing the Game. It turns out to be a perfect cookbook for these times—everything is easy, most dishes take 30 minutes or less and are not a big clean up. This one caught my eye right away. Serves 2-3:

Thai Red Curry Shrimp

  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 13 ½ ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving (Thai basil if you can find it)
  • ¼ cup julienned daikon radish
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into ½ moons
  • 1 bell pepper thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup sliced fresh shiitake or other mushrooms
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Cooked jasmine rice for serving
  • Lime wedges for serving

In a medium pot over medium heat, whisk together the curry paste and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the basil, daikon, fish sauce, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer until thickened, 5-10 minutes.

While the curry sauce is cooking, heat a 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil and heat until it’s shimmering. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and cook until they are starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until they are pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Pour the curry sauce into the pan and cook until it’s heated through. Serve over rice, garnish with basil, and enjoy!

My Verdict:

This was so good that I couldn’t wait for the next day to have the shrimp leftovers for lunch!

We didn’t have any daikon so I left it out, but next time I might toss in some bamboo shoots for texture. I added some green beans for contrast and so we didn’t need an extra veg.

There’s supposed to be a huge difference in the taste of coconut milk. I used a can of Chaokoh and really liked the taste and texture, but will check out Aroy-D the next time I’m at the Asian market. The only time I’ve used low-fat coconut milk the dish was a disaster, so use at your own risk.

The mushrooms were almost undetectable in the finished dish, but they were white button; maybe shiitakes would have more flavor.  Next batch – and there will be a next batch! – I’ll go for the shitakes.

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