One of the most popular dishes at our restaurant is the Green Curry Shrimp. And it’s one of my favorites too. So I wanted to make a streamlined version that was easier to recreate at home. And I managed to keep all the fresh, herbal flavor that is the hallmark of Thai green curry while making it something we can enjoy on a busy weeknight. Plump shrimp swimming in a fragrant coconutty curry broth-what’s not to enjoy?
Green Curry Paste
Yes, you can use a commercial green curry paste in a pinch, but making it from scratch adds explosive flavor. I use canned red curry paste all the time, but green curries rely on fresh herbs and aromatics, and the commercial varieties really can’t compete. I know the ingredient list looks long, but all you’re really doing is blitzing everything in the blender. And this can be made ahead of time, leaving you just 15 minutes cooking time when you’re ready to have green curry shrimp for dinner. The recipe makes more than you need, and freezes beautifully, so a homemade curry dinner is always within reach.
Start by soaking the dried shrimp, and get the other green curry paste ingredients prepped while they soak. Since everything goes into the blender anyway, you just need a rough chop here.
You’ll only use about a third of the curry paste for this recipe, so divide and freeze the remaining paste for fast future dinners.
Veggie Packed Curry
One of the things that makes this Green Curry Shrimp so special is the variety and abundance of vegetables. Eggplant, onions, shiitake mushrooms, and spinach add so much texture and flavor.
At this point I bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring and scraping to get up all those good browned bits. Then I lower the heat and cook until the eggplant has softened. Chinese eggplant softens pretty quickly, making it well suited for this dish. If you are using a standard globe eggplant, I think pre-cooking it either by roasting, frying, or baking might be best. You want the eggplant soft and creamy.
This is a deeply flavorful curry, but it is not intensely spicy. If you like it hot, you can add more jalapenos to the curry paste, or add some chopped chilis to the finished dish. Make it an authentic Thai meal by serving it over rice to sop up the sauce and with some Boba Thai Tea!
I can’t wait for you to try this Green Curry Shrimp; we loved it as much as we love our restaurant version. Let me know what you think by rating the recipe below and leaving a comment. And show off your beautiful curry by tagging us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you and seeing your creations!
Green Curry Paste:
- 3 green chiles (like jalapeno or serrano) roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 lemongrass stems, trim and use only bottom 4 inches (If using frozen chopped, use 3 tablespoons)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped galangal
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes (use miso for vegetarians or omit entirely)
- 1 tablespoon peeled and roughly chopped ginger
- 2 large shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 large kaffir lime leaves
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce (use 2 Tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon salt if vegetarian)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 Tablespoons light brown sugar
Green Curry Shrimp:
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil
- 6 tablespoons green curry paste, divided
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 ½ lb large shrimp (21-25 size)
- 1 can coconut milk (12-13 oz)
- 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 medium chinese eggplant
- ½ large onion, thinly sliced
- 6 oz shiitake mushrooms
- 1 ½ oz baby spinach (large handful)
- Hot rice
- Limes Wedges
Make the Curry Paste:
- Drain the dried shrimp.
- Place the dried shrimp, chilis, cilantro, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, dried shrimp, ginger, shallots, kaffir limes leaves, fish sauce, cumin, turmeric, coriander, black pepper, and brown sugar in a food processor or blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. (If you’re having problems blending, add a tablespoon or two of water).
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to make the curry. (You will only use about ⅓ of the paste. You can split and then freeze the remaining paste to use for future curries.)
Prepare Green Shrimp Curry:
- Trim the stem off of the eggplant and then cut it into ½ inch pieces. (I used a roll cut where you turn the eggplant a ¼ turn after each cut. But you can just cut it into rounds.) Set aside.
- Trim the hard stems off of the shiitakes and discard. Cut the mushrooms into thick slices. Set aside.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the oil and 2 Tablespoons of the spice paste. Stir-fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the onions and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. (The paste may start to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan, but just keep scraping and stirring.)
- Add the ginger, garlic, eggplant and mushrooms and stir fry for another minute. Add the coconut milk, 4 more tablespoons of green curry paste, and 3 Tablespoons of fish sauce.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Lower heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid, and cook for 4-5 minutes until the eggplant has softened.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with a little salt or fish sauce as needed.
- Add the spinach and stir to wilt.
- Serve immediately with hot rice and lime wedges.
*Chiles can vary in spiciness; however, this is a mild green curry. For more heat, double the jalapenos in the paste recipe to 6 pieces or just add some chiles to the final curry itself.
Keywords: homemade curry paste, green curry, shrimp, thai food