Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry

Quick and easy, this coconut shrimp curry recipe is perfect for a midweek meal. Takes just one pot and only 30 minutes, and that's starting with frozen shrimp!

Coconut Shrimp Curry
Elise Bauer

Coconut shrimp curry is one of those quick and easy weeknight dishes. Unadorned, but so satisfying. This shrimp curry is 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 this whole coconut shrimp curry dish in 30 minutes or less, and that's starting with frozen shrimp!

Choosing Coconut Milk for This Shrimp Curry Recipe

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 shrimp curry recipe or any recipe that calls for it!

coconut shrimp curry
Elise Bauer

What to Do With Leftover Coconut Milk

This recipe calls for 1 cup of coconut milk so you'll have some left in the can. We have suggestions for keeping the rest from going to waste.

More Quick and Easy Shrimp Recipes

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 servings

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

This is a basic shrimp curry 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 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon mild yellow curry powder

  • Pinch ground cardamom or the seeds from 1 cardamom pod, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup well-shaken canned coconut milk (use regular, not light)

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 pound raw, peeled, deveined shrimp (with or without tail)

  • Cilantro, for garnish


If you're using frozen shrimp and haven't already defrosted it, 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 the onion and seasonings:

    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 2 more minutes.

    sautéing onion and curry for coconut shrimp curry recipe
    Elise Bauer
    sauteed onions and curry in saucepan for shrimp curry
    Elise Bauer
  2. Add the coconut milk and water:

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

    Adding coconut milk for curry shrimp
    Elise Bauer
    Making coconut curry sauce for Indian shrimp curry
    Elise Bauer
  3. Add the 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.

    Adding shrimp to shrimp curry
    Elise Bauer
    Cooked shrimp in Indian shrimp curry dish
    Elise Bauer

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

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
302 Calories
18g Fat
9g Carbs
28g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 302
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 22%
Saturated Fat 12g 59%
Cholesterol 239mg 80%
Sodium 1241mg 54%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 128mg 10%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 415mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.