Aunty M’s Thai Shrimp Curry

If you’re not in California or another obnoxiously sunny state, this is something delicious and soupy (kind of) for dinner that would be lovely while you’re inundated with blizzards/storms/etc. Even if you are in southern California (where it was in the mid-80s last week and led to the appearance of many more flipflops than normal), this is still something that you should make because curry (especially Thai shrimp curry) is always wonderful. Maybe eat it when you have the A/C blasting? Kind of like when you eat ice cream when it’s rainy, provided you’re under mountains of blankets or in a toasty down jacket.

Super easy, super yummy. I first had it at Thanksgiving one year, and it was fabulous. It’s great for a weeknight, and it’s warming. Spicy from the curry paste and basil, creamy from the coconut milk, savory from the fish sauce, sweet from the juicy shrimp. We typically make the first one, though I really enjoy the pineapple curry if I have some canned lying around (if there’s fresh, there’s no way I can make this curry before I eat it all).

If I’m trying to be a bit healthier, I use 3 parts coconut milk cut with 1 part 2% milk. If I don’t have Thai curry paste, I’ll decrease the amount I add of curry paste, since I typically have one that is more spicy. You can use fresh shrimp here, but I think it’s a waste; the frozen jumbo shrimp from Costco works just fine. Firm tofu is great, since it bulks up the curry a bit more and adds a bit of mellowness amongst everything else. As for basil, this is completely necessary. It adds a spicy freshness to the creamy curry. Sweet basil (what’s usually at the grocery store) tastes great here, but if you can find it (I go to my local Chinese market), Thai basil is delicious as well. It’s amazingly fragrant, and has serrated edges, unlike the sweet basil that has smooth edges.

Aunty M’s Thai Shrimp Curry

2 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk (milk can be substituted for part of it)
2 T. Thai curry paste
1 T. fish sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 lb. jumbo shrimp (we use frozen shrimp)
1 block firm tofu
Basil (if available, go for Thai basil)

  1. Boil the coconut milk in a medium/large pot. Stir in the curry paste and cook until fragrant and a bit darker in color.
  2. Add the fish sauce, salt and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until just pink. Add the tofu and cook until warmed through.
  3. Add the basil and serve over hot rice.

Pineapple Curry:
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 T red curry paste
2 T fish sauce
1 T granulated sugar
1 1/2 lb shrimp
6 oz pineapple, chopped (I use canned)
Basil (preferably Thai)

Follow the same method as above, adding the pineapple at the end and cooking just until warmed through.