Thai Red Curry with Shrimp

Thailand has some of the best food culture of any country I’ve ever been to hands down.  The abundant street food, the fragrant spices, and the super fresh ingredients all contribute to the wonder that is food in Thailand.  It’s not a cuisine I cooked much of before I traveled there, but oh how that changed when I came back.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes

I especially love making Thai curries because of how easy and versatile they are.  It’s a great way to use up any vegetables you have lying around in your fridge, and it means dinner comes together in about 20 minutes.  I always have red curry paste and green curry paste on hand for whenever the craving strikes.

This particular recipe is a red curry, and it’s inspired by one of my favorite meals of the whole trip to Thailand.  Thai curries in general are a balance of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy, and this particular red curry is no exception.  It combines savory shrimp with sweet pineapple and bright sautéed tomatoes.

Red Curry in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Actual picture of me experiencing the magic of this red curry for the first time

When I had this red curry in Thailand, I was completely hooked and I’ve been making variations of it ever since.  My staples are always red curry paste, pineapple, and tomatoes but I like to play around with the addition of other ingredients as well.  One of my favorite variations has been this recipe that includes shrimp just because it complements everything else so well.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (some sort of neutral oil would work in its place if you don’t have coconut oil)
  • 1 medium pineapple, cored peeled & cubed
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ½ tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 lb large shrimp, deveined preferably with shells on
  • 12 oz rice noodles
  • Cilantro to garnish

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes

To start, cook your rice noodles and prep the tomatoes and pineapple.  Once you start cooking, everything comes together very quickly so it’s best to prep everything beforehand.  Cook your rice noodles according to the package instructions, and rinse them with cold water after they’re cooked.

Heat coconut oil in a medium dutch oven over medium low heat.  Add the pineapple and sauté for 5 minutes.  Try to avoid stirring the pineapple so that it gets nice and caramelized.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes

After the pineapple cooks, add the tomatoes to the pan as well.  Sauté briefly, then add the red curry paste.  Stir the curry paste in to the pineapple and tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently.

I use store bought curry paste for ease, but also because it’s typically better than what I can make at home given the ingredients that we have available to us here in the US.  Curry paste is made with ingredients like galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro roots – things that aren’t always readily available.  So store bought ends up being more authentic in this case.  Win, win!

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes

After the curry paste has a chance to cook for a few minutes, add the coconut milk and stir to combine.  It should form a vibrant, red and orange broth.  Bring the broth to a low boil and nestle the shrimp into the curry.

Simmering the shrimp directly in the curry allows them both to flavor each other resulting in shrimp that’s spicy & sweet, and broth that’s savory and complex.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes

Once the shrimp are nestled into the curry, reduce the heat to low and cover.  Simmer the shrimp for 3-4 minutes depending on their size.  You want them to be just cooked through so that they’re still tender.

For smaller shrimp, decrease the cooking time by a couple of minutes and for larger shrimp, add a couple of minutes.  The shells will turn pink when they’re cooked.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes

Once the shrimp is done cooking, turn off the heat and test the broth for flavor.  The red curry should be savory but with a little sweetness and a little acidity.  Some things I add depending on how it tastes are salt, lime juice, minced chili peppers, or brown sugar.

This dish gets a lot of sweetness from the pineapple, so I typically find it needs salt if anything.  After you adjust any seasonings, you’re ready to serve.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes

To finish add rice noodles to individual bowls and ladle the red curry over top.  Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.

And that’s it!  You’ve got a delicious meal in 20 minutes flat.  It’s why Thai curries are my weeknight dinner heroes.

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes

Bon Appétit!

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Tomatoes
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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp

A quick but satisfying weeknight meal made with spicy red curry paste, pineapple, and tomatoes

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil some sort of neutral oil would work in its place if you don’t have coconut oil
  • 1 medium pineapple cored peeled & cubed
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ½ tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 lb large shrimp deveined preferably with shells on
  • 12 oz rice noodles
  • Cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook rice noodles according to the package instructions, and cut pineapple & tomatoes

  2. Heat coconut oil in a medium dutch oven over medium low heat. Add the pineapple and sauté for 5 minutes. 

  3. After the pineapple cooks, add the tomatoes to the pan as well. Sauté briefly, then add the red curry paste. Stir the curry paste in to the pineapple and tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently.
  4. After the curry paste has a chance to cook for a few minutes, add the coconut milk and stir to combine. 

  5. Bring the broth to a low boil and nestle the shrimp into the curry, reduce the heat to low and cover.

  6. Simmer the shrimp for 3-4 minutes depending on their size. You want them to be just cooked through so that they're still tender.

  7. Once the shrimp is done cooking, turn off the heat and test the broth for flavor. Adjust seasoning as needed - I typically find it needs some salt

  8. To finish add rice noodles to individual bowls and ladle the red curry over top. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.



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