15-minute shrimp curry

15-minute shrimp curry

Summary: Vacuum-packed shelled and deveined shrimps, and curry paste in a jar, conveniently available in groceries and supermarkets, were used in this dish. Preparation time was reduced to a mere five minutes. Cooking time was ten minutes for a total of 15 minutes.

Everyone in my family loves prawns and shrimps. Except me. But that’s because I am allergic to them. I do try to eat them in small amounts but I do not push the boundaries lest I end up in a hospital. It has happened before and I don’t want to go through with that again. Ever.

Yesterday’s shrimp curry, however, made me almost go over that invisible boundary. The shrimps were so sweet, the sweetness heightened even more by the sweet coconut cream and the contrast that the sweetness made with the salty fish sauce. I ate three pieces when I normally limit myself to two. Fortunately, nothing bad happened to me except for a few rashes on my face and neck, and they will disappear within a day.

South Asian curries use yogurt — this is Thai-style curry which uses coconut cream.


  • a pack of shrimps, about 18 pieces, shelled and deveined, thawed completely
  • 2 tbsps. of vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of grated ginger
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (see tip on preparation)
  • 2 to 4 tbsps. of curry paste, depending on how spicy you like your curry
  • 2 bird’s eye chilis, chopped (or 1 tsp. of chili flakes), for added spiciness and color
  • 1 c. of coconut cream (see tip on extracting coconut cream)
  • fish sauce, to taste
  • finely sliced onion leaves and more chopped chili, for garnish


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a shallow pan.

    Saute the onion, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and chilies for about 30 seconds. Add the curry paste. Cook for another minute, stirring often.

    Add the shrimps. Stir. Cook just until they start to change color.

    Pour in the coconut cream. Season with fish sauce.

    Once the coconut cream starts to boil, turn off the heat and leave the shrimps to cook in the residual heat for another two to three minutes.

    To serve, transfer the shrimp curry to a bowl. Garnish with onion leaves and chopped chilies. Serve hot with rice or flat bread.

Quick Notes

When using vacuum-packed frozen shrimps, thaw the shrimps without opening the package. When completely thawed, slit the package open, dump the shrimps into a colander, rinse under the tap and drain well.

If fresh grated coconut is not available for extracting the cream, canned and powdered coconut cream are widely available. Powdered cream must first be dissolved in water before adding to the pan.

Cooking time (duration): 15 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 3

Meal type: lunch


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