Thai Red Curry with Fish and Shrimp will bring a little exotic sophistication to your dinner table.
Quick, sauteed succulent fish tidbits and shrimp merry with curry infused coconut milk and ginger. Tender, crisp carrot and fresh spinach compliment the delicate flavors and add vivid color. Beautiful and bright!
Ok, I know, I know. I’ve been stuck in the Asian and seafood rut and haven’t been sending you out much in the way of variety, but I can’t help myself! I’ve been bored with winter comfort food lately and bright, flavors and colors have just sounded so good. If you are feeling the same, make sure you check out my Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Asian Blood Orange Chicken, and Shrimp and Mango Tacos. In the meantime, bring my some Spring!
I’m in love with the flavors of this dish and it has the added benefits of being very weeknight friendly and kid approved.
If you haven’t tried a Thai style curry before, I urge you to! I think of it as a mix between a stir fry and a soup. The protein and veggie combinations are endless, the coconut milk makes it slightly sweet, and the subtle heat of the curry paste perfectly compliments it. The heat level is easily adjustable for those who love spicy, but can be mild enough if you have a picky red-headed 6 year old like me.
How to make Thai Red Curry with Fish and Shrimp
This fairly quick and easy recipe takes about 15 minutes of prep work and 15 minutes of cook time.
Choose a firm, mild, and thick white fish filet. I really like center cut cod for this recipe. Thin fillets do not hold together well. Cut it into 1 inch wide cubes and dust them with flour, salt, and pepper. The flour will give the fish pieces a nice golden crust and help to hold it together.
Fish note: frozen fish is ok to use, but it’s very important the it is all the way defrosted and all extra moisture is patted away so that the fish will brown.
Peel and devein the shrimp if you didn’t purchase them that way. Any size between medium and large works well. Cut the carrots into thin matchsticks, dice the onion and garlic.
In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the coconut milk together with salt, sugar, fish sauce, and grated ginger.
Once the ingredients are prepared, preheat a large non-stick skillet or wok to a high heat.
Add a little oil, and the the fish in a single layer. Once one side has lightly browned, flip the pieces and let the other side brown. Each side will only cook for 1-2 minutes, just until a light gold color and the interior has just turned opaque. Remove to a plate, and then add the shrimp to your pan in a single layer. Cook briefly on both sides like the fish and then remove to the same plate.
Be very careful to not overcook the fish or shrimp. They will continue to cook up as they rest while you saute the veggies, so error on the underdone side.
Next, saute the carrots and onion until tender crisp. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add fresh spinach and cook until it is partially wilted.
Remove the veggies from the skillet and add the red curry paste. Saute the curry paste for 1-2 minutes until it is fragrant. Cooking the curry paste will ‘wake up’ all the fabulous ingredients and flavors.
What is curry paste?
Curry paste is a mixture of chilies, lemongrass, garlic, lime juice, ginger, onion, and other spices. It has more ingredients then curry powder, so I do not use them interchangeably. It can be homemade. Minimalist Baker has a great recipe for it, but the ingredients are a little harder to source and might require an Asian market.
What is coconut milk and which one do I choose?
Coconut milk is basically pureed coconut mixed with water. Unsweetend coconut milk will only have coconut, water, and guar gum on the ingredient label. This is what we will use. Do not be confused by cream of coconut, coconut cream, or coconut water. Thai Kitchen, Imperial Dragon, and Chaokoh are common brands. An interesting article by Bon Appetit can be found here about the differences.
Curry paste, coconut milk, and fish sauce are found in the Asian section at most grocery stores and are, of course, available on Amazon.
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Add the coconut milk mixture, stirring into the curry. Bring to a simmer and let it cook a few minutes until slightly thickened. Mixing in the curry paste is what will give your dish the ‘red’ color.
Add the stir-fried vegetables to the curry and remove from the heat. Very gently fold in the seafood or serve the seafood on top of the curry. Serve with rice if desired.
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Tried this or have a question? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Thai Red Curry with Fish and Shrimp
- 1 pound thick, boneless cod fillets cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil – divided
- 1 cup onion, white or yellow diced
- 1 cup carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 ounces fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 26 ounces coconut milk 2 cans
- 2 tablespoon sugar, white or brown
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Peel and devein shrimp if necessary. Cut fish filets into 1 inch wide cubes.
- Dust fish with flour, salt, and pepper.
- In a very hot, preheated non-stick skillet or wok, add a tablespoon of oil and then the fish in a single layer. Cook 1-2 minutes until lightly golden, and then flip. Cook and additional 1-2 minutes just until they interior of a piece is no longer translucent and flakes easily. Do not overcook. Remove fish to a plate.
- Repeat the same process to the shrimp and then remove to a plate. Again, be careful to not overcook the shrimp.
- Add a final dab of oil if needed and then the carrots and onion. Saute until tender-crisp. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add the fresh spinach and cook 1-2 minutes, combining with the other vegetables until slightly wilted. Remove vegetables to a bowl.
- Add the curry paste to the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes until bubbly and fragrant. Add the coconut mixture and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 1-2 minutes to slightly thicken the sauce and then stir in the vegetables.
- Either gently fold in the fish and shrimp or serve the fish and shrimp on top of the curry and vegetable mixture. Serve with rice if desired.
Kitchen Tools used for this recipe: