Coconut milk flavored with peanut butter and red curry paste makes a classic Thai-inspired, creamy sauce. When tossed with shrimp and bell peppers, it makes for an easy dinner!
I feel that I’ve led you astray. That I didn’t deliver. That I was just being a big tease.
Actually, there was a plethora of you who said that’s exactly what I was when you e-mailed me in droves asking where the recipe was for the photo of this dish in my Friday Faves because I hadn’t shared the recipe.
You’re right. I owe you this coconut curry shrimp recipe. So I’m delivering it in two different versions: the original from a cereal cooking challenge I was part of and another minus the cereal for those of you looking for a simpler option.
This recipe was my divine inspiration when I was put on the spot for a cooking challenge at General Mills HQ. We were tasked to create recipes using a General Mills cereal, ANY cereal. And that’s a lot of cereals!
I channeled my main man in the kitchen (my husband) and used Reese’s Puffs to create a Thai-flavored dish, grinding Reese’s Puffs and coating shrimp to make a peanut-y crust.
To recreate the recipe, I went to the store to buy the cereal and came home with…Cocoa Puffs, not Reese’s Puffs. So, instead of making yet another trip to the store, I’m giving you the stripped-down version as well, minus the Reese’s Puffs coating.
What’s in This Thai Shrimp Curry?
Here’s what you’ll need to make my take on Thai shrimp curry:
- Jumbo shrimp
- Vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Red chili flakes
- Bell pepper
- Coconut milk
- Thai red curry paste
- Fish sauce
- Peanut butter
- Lime juice
- Ground ginger
- Brown sugar
- Green onion
How to Make Coconut Curry Shrimp
First up, peel and devein the shrimp (but leave the tails on). Then, toss the shrimp with a little oil, garlic, kosher salt, and red chili flakes. Let the shrimp marinate for 10 minutes.
Cook the onion and peppers in a hot skillet until softened, then transfer them to a bowl. Working in batches, cook the shrimp in the skillet and then place it in a separate bowl.
Next, make the coconut shrimp sauce. The creamy sauce is amped up by combining coconut milk with salty fish sauce and lime juice, plus peanut butter, red curry paste, brown sugar, and ground ginger. Don’t be afraid of fish sauce. It sounds odd but lends a distinctly Thai flavor to the dish. My husband read somewhere Red Boat is a highly-rated fish sauce, and is 100% natural, so it’s the one we buy now.
Add the cooked onion and peppers back into the skillet and pour in the coconut milk mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Add the shrimp to the skillet with the basil and cilantro and toss to coat.
When serving this coconut curry shrimp, it’s all about the garnish. Cilantro leaves, fresh basil, sliced red jalapeño, chopped green onion, and a squeeze of lime simply enhance this dish in my opinion. And if you’re using the Reese’s Puffs, a few tablespoons of crushed puffs adds a peanut buttery crunch.
Can I Add in Extra Veggies?
Of course! Feel free to swap out one of the bell peppers for another favorite veggie.
What Type of Coconut Milk Should I Use?
You should use canned unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk. If using low-fat coconut milk, the sauce will be thinner and has a tendency to break.
How to Make Coconut Milk Shrimp with Cereal
If you’d like to try the version with the cereal-crusted shrimp, simply grind 1 cup of Reese’s Puffs in a food processor. Marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes, roll in the crushed cereal, and sauté in the skillet.
You will need to wipe the pan out after each batch and may need a little extra oil as well.
It’s a pretty tasty crunch, if I do say so myself. (Pat on back…)
Tips for Making Coconut Curry Shrimp
PLEASE TAKE NOTE! There have been some comments that the dish is too salty. I believe this is from using a lesser quality fish sauce, which will lend a saltier taste. Please use a high-quality fish sauce like the one I recommend, or add just 4 tablespoons of sauce and then taste it, and add more to your liking.
Use fresh or dried ginger in this dish. I’ve used both. If using fresh, use 1 ½ tablespoons minced ginger and cook it with the peppers and onions and omit the dried ginger from the coconut milk mixture.
I like Key West Pink Shrimp in my shrimp dishes. In my opinion, they’re sweeter and more flavorful than striped or tiger shrimp that are typically farmed. I find the wild caught Key West Shrimps in the freezer section at my local Kroger (under the Private Selection brand).
Keep the tails. I like to leave the tails on my shrimp for presentation’s sake, but if you want to, feel free to remove the tails from the get-go.
Serve over brown rice for another layer of nutty flavor. If you’re a white rice kind of eater, go for it. Cellophane or rice noodles would be really good underneath too, or spiralize a few zucchini noodles to keep the veg-love flowing.
More Thai-Inspired Recipes You’ll Love
- Thai Quinoa Salad
- Thai Chicken and Cucumber Salad
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
- Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai)
- Thai Coconut Chicken and Rice
- Thai Coconut Noodle Salad
Shrimp In Thai Coconut Curry Sauce
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp , peeled and deveined, tail on
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil , divided
- 2 cloves garlic , minced or pressed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ onion , peeled and sliced
- ½ red bell pepper , seeded and sliced
- ½ orange bell pepper , seeded and sliced
- ½ yellow bell pepper , seeded and sliced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4-6 tablespoons high quality fish sauce , start with 4 tablespoons and add more to taste
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons lime juice , about ½ large lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves , chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro , chopped
- 1 green onion , chopped
- Red jalapeno pepper , thinly sliced (optional)
- Place the shrimp in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, kosher salt and red chili flakes. Toss to coat and let marinate for 10 minutes.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers and onion to a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook half of the shrimp for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until opaque. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook the remaining shrimp then add to the other shrimp.
- In another bowl or 4-cup measuring cup mix the coconut milk, fish sauce, peanut butter, red curry paste, lime juice, brown sugar and ground ginger and stir well.
- Transfer the cooked onion and peppers to the skillet and pour the coconut milk mixture of the peppers. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet with the basil and cilantro and toss to coat. Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with more cilantro and basil, chopped green onion and sliced red jalapeño of desired.
More Easy Shrimp Recipes to Try
- Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- Grilled Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Rolls
- Peel ‘n’ Eat Beer Steamed Shrimp
- Saucy Greek Baked Shrimp
- Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Avocado Crema
Thanks for stopping by and checking out the recipe. I hope it inspires you to get in the kitchen and cook something good.
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