This shrimp and vegetable curry recipe is the easiest weeknight dinner when you want to just throw everything in a pot and forget about it.
If you’re like me, you find yourself buying tons of veggies each week with every intention of creating new and exciting vegetable side dishes. Sometimes that happens, but sometimes, they languish in the crisper. You come home from the next week’s shopping trip for a changing of the guards, and the cycle begins anew.
I find this happening most often with baby bok choy. At my grocery store, they come in big bags, and it can be challenging to work through the entire bag in a week.
This recipe is the perfect vessel for all those misfit veggies that you want–or MUST–to use up before they reach their demise.
The beauty of this dish is that beyond the curry paste and coconut milk, there are no rules. Use the ingredient list below as a blueprint, but swap out the vegetables or protein as needed. Or, if you want to enjoy it the way I did, follow it to the letter. It’s your dinner, after all!
How to make this shrimp and vegetable curry recipe:
As far as ingredients go, the basic premise is aromatics, coconut milk, curry paste, vegetables, and protein. That’s it. I serve it with rice, but it would be delicious over cooked rice noodles too. I’ll list out the specifics below and give you a few ideas for alternatives.
- Aromatics: I used a shallot and Thai chili peppers. You can use any onion, leeks, scallions, or if you don’t have them, just skip it. A good quality curry paste, like Maesri, has shallot in it already, so it’ll all work out. Don’t worry! I add the Thai chili peppers for a bit of extra heat. You can omit them or use jalapeño or a pinch of crushed red pepper instead.
- Coconut milk: Don’t skimp here! Use full-fat coconut milk. You can keep it in the fridge overnight to keep the fat separate from the liquid (this part is important to crack the coconut). I find storing coconut milk in a cabinet far away from the stove keeps the fat and liquid separated nicely.
- Curry paste: Use your favorite curry paste. I have mentioned it many times, but my favorite brand is Maesri. I used the yellow curry paste this time, but red or Panang would be delicious. The green is really spicy, so just be mindful of that when choosing the paste you want to use.
- Vegetables: Here’s where you have lots of freedom to customize. I used mushrooms, potato, carrots, red bell pepper, and thinly sliced baby bok choy. Try it with sweet potatoes, squash, eggplant, green beans, diced zucchini, or sugar snap peas. You can throw some spinach or kale in there at the end if you don’t have bok choy. Just be mindful of cooking times. Try to keep the starchy vegetables (like potatoes and squash) together at the beginning. Add the veggies you want to be tender-crisp–like sugar snap peas and green beans–at the end of cooking with the shrimp.
- Protein: I use shrimp, but it would be great with thinly sliced chicken or thin slices of pork. You could even add cod and mussels to the shrimp and make a seafood curry.
How to make it:
This recipe couldn’t be easier! Here’s what you do:
- Step 1: Fry up the aromatics for just a minute or so.
- Step 2: Add the vegetables that cook the longest. In my case, I started with mushrooms, potatoes, and carrots.
- Step 3: Crack the coconut! Add the solid fat from the can of coconut and cook until you see the oil separate out. This takes 7–12 minutes.
- Step 4: Add the paste and fry in the coconut for about 2–3 minutes.
- Step 5: Add the rest of the liquid from the can of coconut and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Step 6: Finish it up! Throw in the shrimp, bok choy, and diced bell pepper. Simmer until the shrimp are opaque, and then turn off the heat.
From there, simply serve it up with cooked white rice and your favorite toppings. I finished my bowl with cilantro, crispy shallots, and a lime wedge. Minced scallions would be delicious on top of this!
Shrimp and Vegetable Curry
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 shallot, peeled and diced
- 2 Thai chili peppers, minced; optional
- 3.5 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
- 1 russet potato, peeled and medium-diced
- 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 14.5- ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 4- ounce can yellow curry paste
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 heads baby bok choy, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- Cooked rice
- Crispy shallots
- Minced cilantro
- Lime wedges
Fry the aromatics:
- Heat oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and chili pepper and cook for 1 minute.
Sauté the vegetables:
- Add the mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt.
Crack the coconut:
- Scoop out the solid fat from the coconut milk and add it to the pot. Cook until it begins to separate and any water from the coconut evaporates. This will take about 7-12 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking.
- Once it separates, add the curry paste. Stir to mix the paste into the coconut and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the rest of the liquid from the can of coconut and stir to lift up anything stuck to the bottom.
Simmer the curry:
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer the curry for 15–20 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender. Add a few splashes of water as needed if it sticks.
- While the curry simmers, prepare a pot of rice or noodles.
Finish the curry:
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Add the shrimp, bok choy, and bell pepper and cook for 5-8 minutes until shrimp is opaque. Taste and season one final time. Turn off the heat.
- Serve with cooked rice, cilantro, crispy shallots, and lime wedges. Enjoy!