Thai Shrimp Curry

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recipe by America's Test Kitchen

  • Time icon
    Total Time
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon

Why This Recipe Works: Unlike Indian curries, Thai curries almost always contain coconut milk. Also, they tilt the spice balance towards fresh aromatics in the form of a homemade chile paste. For a streamlined Thai shrimp curry dish that was scaled down in effort but not in flavor, we eliminated homemade curry paste and went with a ­simplified sauce that could be easily assembled in the blender. A little chicken broth cut through the richness of a full can of coconut milk, while easy-to-find Thai staples such as Thai chiles (serrano or jalapeño chiles make great substitutes), fish sauce, lemon grass, brown sugar, lime juice, cilantro, and basil offered welcome complexity. Quick-cooking shrimp, snap peas, and red bell pepper paired well with our flavorful sauce. For a smooth sauce we found we needed to blend the ingredients first before heating it up in the blender. The vegetables needed a quick spin in the microwave to ensure tenderness and we also drained off excess liquid so as not to dilute our delicious curry sauce. We added the vegetables and the shrimp to the blender partway through the cook cycle. Note that because of the volume in the blender, the temperature of the sauce drops dramatically when you add the vegetables and shrimp—the shrimp effectively poaches at a low gentle temperature until just cooked and tender, while the snap peas and bell pepper remain tender­crisp. If you can’t find Thai basil leaves, regular basil will work fine. Serve over rice.

Inspired by:

recipe updated Feb 4, 2020


  • Green thai chiles icon
    Green thai chiles
  • Garlic clove icon
    Garlic clove
  • Lemongrass stalk icon
    Lemongrass stalk
    1 (12g)
  • Ginger icon
    2 tbsp (11g)
  • Sugar snap peas icon
    Sugar snap peas
    1½ cups
  • Red bell pepper icon
    Red bell pepper
    1 (150g)
  • Extra-large shrimp icon
    Extra-large shrimp
    2 cups
  • Coconut milk icon
    Coconut milk
    414ml (414ml)
  • Cilantro icon
    about ¼ cup (7g)
  • Fish sauce icon
    Fish sauce
    1 tbsp (15ml)
  • Brown sugar icon
    Brown sugar
    2 tsp (8g)
  • Lime zest icon
    Lime zest
    1 tsp (4g)
  • Ground cumin icon
    Ground cumin
    1 tsp (2g)
  • Vegetable oil icon
    Vegetable oil
    1 tsp (5ml)
  • Thai basil icon
    Thai basil
    about ¼ cup (60g)
  • Lime icon
    as needed


  • kCook icon Microwave
  • kCook icon Ace Nova Blender
  • kCook icon Heatproof bowl
  • kCook icon Ace blender jug

Step preview

  1. Add coconut milk, green Thai chiles, cilantro, garlic clove, lemongrass stalk, ginger, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest and ground cumin to the Ace blender jug
  2. Secure and lock lid
  3. Blend until smooth - approx 2 min, high speed
  4. Scrape down sides
  5. Replace lid
  6. Select "Soup •" program
  7. Add sugar snap peas, red bell pepper and vegetable oil to a clean heatproof bowl
  8. Cook in microwave until softened - approx 3 min
  9. Drain then set aside
  10. Pause blender when 12 miutes remain
  11. Add extra-large shrimp to the Ace blender jug
  12. Transfer vegetables to Ace blender jug
  13. Stir until submerged
  14. Replace lid
  15. Resume program
  16. Stir Thai basil into the Ace blender jug
  17. Season to taste
  18. Serve
  19. Garnish with lime
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