Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry

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Delicious Coconut Curry Shrimp! Quick and EASY, perfect for a midweek meal. ONE pot, takes only 30 minutes to make!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Coconut shrimp curry is one of those quick and easy weeknight dishes. Unadorned, but so satisfying. Convenient too, if you, like me, happen to keep a bag of shrimp in the freezer and a can of coconut milk in the pantry. You can cook the whole dish in 30 minutes or less, and that’s starting with frozen shrimp!

I made a momentous discovery while working on this recipe. The first batch we made ended up too thick, so we thought, why not use light coconut milk instead? Disaster. It tasted horrible.

We then did a taste test comparing regular coconut milk to the light variety, in their cans. The regular coconut milk was lovely, rich and coconut-y. The light coconut milk? Coconut flavored milk of magnesia.

So, I recommend, if you are even considering using light coconut milk for this recipe, that you do a taste test before making the sauce. Just pull out half a spoonful from an opened can. Compare it with regular coconut milk. You want the best tasting coconut milk for this recipe or any recipe that calls for it!

Check out this video I made on how easy it is to make this coconut shrimp curry!

Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

To thaw frozen shrimp, place shrimp in a large bowl, cover with cold, lightly salted water. Add a couple ice cubes. Let sit for 15 minutes until defrosted.

This is a basic recipe. Please feel free to dress it up. Add chopped celery or bell pepper to the onions and/or fresh ginger or diced tomatoes. Experiment with the curry spices you are using.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild yellow curry powder
  • Pinch of ground cardamom or the seeds from 1 cardamom pod, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (use regular coconut milk NOT light)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pound raw, peeled, deveined shrimp (with or without tail)
  • Cilantro for garnish


If you haven't already defrosted your shrimp, if using frozen, do that while you prepare the sauce. The shrimp will be thawed and ready to cook by the time the sauce is done.

1 Sauté onion, curry, cardamom: Heat olive oil in a medium sized sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, cardamom, and salt. Cook for two more minutes.

2 Add coconut milk and water, simmer: Add the coconut milk and water, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

3 Add shrimp: Add the shrimp to the curry sauce and spread out evenly in the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp has turned from grey to pink and is just cooked through. Do not overcook or the shrimp will be rubbery.

Serve with cilantro for garnish. Serve with basmati rice or better yet, coconut basmati rice.

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Caribbean Creole Coconut Curry Shrimp from Jaden on Steamy Kitchen

Coconut Shrimp Curry with jalapeños and tomatoes from Taste Food

Indian Style Coconut Shrimp Curry from One Life to Eat

Coconut Shrimp Curry


Showing 4 of 39 Comments / Reviews

  • Dia

    This is so delicious and easy to make!

  • Roberta

    Delicious! Quick, easy and versatile. I followed an earlier comment, adding cumin, ginger, sliced red pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, chopped broccoli, julienned carrots and fresh mushrooms, Awesome. Thanks!

  • Laura

    I’ve been intimated by cooking with coconut milk (though had in my pantry), but am no longer. Perfectly delicious!! Thank you.

  • Mary Richter

    Amazingly simple and tastes great.

  • Suzanne

    What did you do to thin the recipe from when it was too thick? Just added the water? I want to try and make coconut curry shrimp stuffed mushrooms. I guess I’ll just simmer until reduced enough and then add the shrimp unless you have another idea. I am trying to make a Paleo appetizer to bring to a BBQ (yes in February) so no grains, beans, dairy. Thanks!

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