Mother Earth Living

Sustainable Seafood: Thai Shrimp Curry

This Thai favorite is traditionally served with steamed rice and a side salad of lettuce, cucumber, basil and cilantro to aid digestion.
Recipe Courtesy Dory Ford, executive chef for Bon Appétit Management Company at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
May/June 2007
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Thai shrimp curry with steamed rice, photographed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, is served with a green salad.
Photo By Batista Moon Studio

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Thai Shrimp Curry 
Serves 4

This Thai favorite is traditionally served with steamed rice and a side salad of lettuce, cucumber, basil and cilantro to aid digestion. Shrimp are low in mercury, and Seafood Watch recommends you choose domestic rather than imported shrimp. U.S. shrimp trawlers use turtle-safe nets, and U.S. environmental laws minimize the damage shrimp farms cause to mangrove forests.

Curry Sauce:

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 shallots, sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground chili paste (optional)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces and bruised with knife
1-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into
1/4-inch-thick slices
3 cups coconut cream or canned coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar


1 1/2 cups jasmine rice, steamed; follow package directions

Shrimp and Vegetables:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound U.S. trawl-caught or farmed shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 yellow onion, cubed
1 carrot, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds and blanched
1/2 cup cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces and blanched
1 cup green beans, trimmed, sliced lengthwise and blanched
1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths and blanched
1 cup broccolini, cut into 2-inch lengths and blanched
1 ripe tomato, core removed and cut into thin strips
3 kaffir lime leaves, cut into slivers
10 fresh Thai basil leaves, julienned

To make curry sauce:

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over moderate heat. Add shallots, garlic, curry powder, turmeric and chili paste and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add soy sauce, lemongrass and ginger and stir for another 30 seconds. Add coconut cream, salt and sugar; bring to a boil.

3. Allow sauce to cool, then purée in blender and strain through a course sieve to remove lemongrass and ginger. You may refrigerate the sauce, covered, for up to a week.

To make rice:

1. Steam 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice, following package directions.

To prepare shrimp and vegetables:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan over moderate heat; add shrimp and sauté until half cooked. Add 1 cup curry sauce and bring to a simmer. (If you prefer a saucier curry, add 1 1/2 cups.) Refrigerate the rest for later use.

2. Add onion; blanched carrots, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus and broccolini; and tomato. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Just before serving, stir in lime and basil leaves. Remove from heat; serve over steamed rice.

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