Spicy Thai coconut curry with shrimp, vegetables, and jasmine rice

Thai cuisine is renowned for its bold flavors and aromatic spices, and this spicy coconut curry is no exception. With its creamy coconut milk base, fiery red curry paste, and tender shrimp, this dish offers a tantalizing mix of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors. Paired with crisp vegetables and fluffy jasmine rice, it’s a satisfying and comforting meal that’s sure to transport you to the bustling streets of Bangkok.

Region and History

Coconut curry is a beloved dish in Thai cuisine, where it’s known as “kaeng phet” or “red curry.” Originating from central Thailand, red curry is made by simmering meat, seafood, or vegetables in a rich and fragrant sauce made from coconut milk, red curry paste, and aromatic herbs and spices. Traditionally served with rice or noodles, coconut curry is a staple in Thai households and is enjoyed by people around the world.


For the Curry:

  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Red curry paste
  • Coconut milk
  • Fish sauce
  • Sugar
  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • Thai basil leaves
  • Red bell pepper, sliced
  • Green beans, trimmed and halved
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

For Serving:

  • Jasmine rice, cooked
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Thai chilies, sliced (optional)

Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  • In a bowl, combine the shrimp with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat.

Step 2: Make the Curry Base

  • Add the red curry paste to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Slowly pour in the coconut milk while stirring to combine.
  • Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai basil leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

Step 3: Cook the Shrimp and Vegetables

  • Add the sliced red bell pepper, halved green beans, and bamboo shoots to the skillet.
  • Gently add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet and simmer until they turn pink and opaque, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Serve the Curry

  • Serve the spicy Thai coconut curry hot over cooked jasmine rice.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and sliced Thai chilies for extra heat, if desired.
  • Serve with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the curry before eating.


Can I use other protein instead of shrimp?

Yes, you can substitute the shrimp with chicken, tofu, or your favorite vegetables for a vegetarian option.

Is there a substitute for kaffir lime leaves?

If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves, you can use lime zest as a substitute. Just be sure to add it sparingly, as it has a more intense flavor than kaffir lime leaves.

How do I adjust the spice level?

To increase the spice level, add more red curry paste or sliced Thai chilies. To decrease the spice level, reduce the amount of red curry paste or omit the Thai chilies altogether.

Can I make this curry in advance?

Yes, you can make the curry in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.


Indulge in the exotic flavors of Thailand with this spicy coconut curry featuring succulent shrimp, crisp vegetables, and fragrant jasmine rice. With its rich and aromatic blend of ingredients, this dish is sure to transport you to the bustling streets of Bangkok. So gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and treat yourself to a taste of Thai cuisine in the comfort of your own home.

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