Low Carb Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp is a really quick and simple curry that has plump shrimp and juicy bell pepper. The coconut sauce is really creamy and a little spicy. Adjust the level of spiciness, serve over cauliflower rice, top with herbs, and a squeeze of lime juice.
This is a straightforward curry with Thai influences that uses simple, accessible ingredients and is stuffed with shrimp and other tasty toppings. It is oh-so-comforting and packed with toasty spices and fresh herbs.
The type of vegetables you have on hand will determine how you should modify this curry; right now, bell pepper is my favorite, but you could also try adding zucchini or tender baby bok choy.
Ingredients You Need
The ingredients for this recipe are widely available at mainstream supermarkets, but you might have to source a few things at an Asian store. Get ready, because there are quite a few ingredients.
- Shrimp – I use medium shrimp for this recipe and I try to get already shelled and deveined shrimp to make it easier on me. Frozen shrimp is also fine to use, you will just need to drain off any excess water.
- Red Bell Pepper – Use fresh red bell peppers, deseeded and chopped. Of course, green or yellow bell peppers can be used instead.
- Spinach – Baby spinach is the best choice because it’s small and tender.
- Onion – You can use any type of onion you like in this recipe. I use sweet onions, because I like the flavor best, but yellow, white, or red are okay to use as well. Be aware of how much onion you use because of the number of carbs.
- Garlic – Use either fresh garlic cloves or store-bought chopped garlic.
- Ginger – Use fresh ginger or shop-bought ginger paste.
- Curry Paste – You will need to source some Thai curry paste. I most often use this Panang Curry because I like it best, but a yellow or red curry paste will work as well. Most supermarkets have this, but if you’re having difficulties locating them there, consider looking in an Asian shops or ordering online.
- Low-sodium chicken broth – The chicken broth will counterbalance the strong aromatic curry paste and mellow out the richness of the coconut milk. Be sure to use low sodium so the salt doesn’t get out of control.
- Coconut milk – Coconut milk is a crucial component of this recipe because it serves as the primary basis for a Thai curry. Buy a high-quality full-fat coconut milk in a can. We’re not talking about the coconut milk beverage in a carton.
- Coconut oil – I like to cook this dish with coconut oil because it’s very good for you and the flavors are complimentary. You can use olive oil or vegetable oil, if you want instead.
- Fish sauce – This is an optional ingredient, but if you have it and don’t mind the flavor you should definitely add it, because it really helps to balance the flavor.
- Garnishes – Lime, cilantro
- Optional veggies – This shrimp dish is great without an extra veggies, but sometimes I like to change it up with some zucchini, mushrooms, or bamboo shoots
- Cauliflower rice – I like to eat this dish as a soup and it’s a full meal on its own, but you can add cauliflower rice if you want to bulk it up and make it more like a traditional curry.
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How to Make Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp turns pink and slightly opaque, approximately 2-3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the onions, bell pepper, and any other optional vegetables you’d like to add. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften, about 4-5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the veggies to the plate with the shrimp.
Add the remaining coconut oil. When hot, add the curry paste, coconut milk, and broth and whisk until thoroughly combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes.
Return the shrimp and veggies to the skillet and add the spinach, fish sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine.
Serve over cauliflower rice, if you want.
Additional Cooking Tips
- Shrimp: The best shrimp for this recipe are medium so they are bite sized, but you can also cut them in two if they are large. If you don’t have fresh shrimp, feel free to use frozen shrimp in this recipe. Be care not to overcook the shrimp because they will turn rubbery and chewy.
- Vegetables: You can add zucchini, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, broccoli, finely sliced carrots, and green beans to create a unique Thai shrimp curry recipe.
- Curry Paste: For the best results, use a high-quality curry paste in this recipe, like Mae Ploy brand. It doesn’t contain MSG, preservatives and artificial coloring. It only contains shrimp paste and a blend of aromatic Thai herbs and spices such as lemongrass, kaffir lime peel, and galangal. It’s as good as making it at home from scratch.
How to Store Leftovers
You can store any leftovers of this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. It actually reheats really well the next day and has even more flavor and depth.
You can also freeze any leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just make sure you cool it completely before storing it. When you reheat it, put it in a pot over medium heat and warm up slowly.
Variations to Try
There are numerous variants that may be made with this coconut curry shrimp. There are so many options!
- Try including more veggies such as zucchini, spinach, baby bok choy that is still crisp, green bell pepper, cabbage, sugar snap peas, and green beans.
- Adjust the level of heat with Sriracha, sambal oelek, or fresh chili peppers. You can also use a spicier curry paste. Some are hotter than others.
- Serve with low-carb noodles, cauliflower rice, or steamed rice.
- Other possible toppings include fried onions, cilantro, basil, mint, lime zest, beansprouts, and fresh chile peppers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Thai curry paste made of?
The paste is made of dried or fresh chilies, coriander seeds, cumin, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, garlic, and shrimp paste. Each curry differs in what is included though, so be sure to check the ingredients when you purchase one to make sure you agree with it all.
Is Thai coconut curry shrimp spicy?
This Thai coconut curry shrimp, with Panang curry paste, is not that spicy at all, as long as you use the right amount of curry paste. Different types of curry paste have different levels of spiciness, depend on how many chilis are added. If you’re concerned about the level of spice, you might want to use a milder curry paste, like yellow. Red curry paste tends to be hotter.
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Low Carb Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil divided
- 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- Dash salt & pepper
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons Penang yellow or red curry paste
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk 13.5 oz
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Other veggies optional zucchini, mushrooms, bamboo shoots
- 3 cups cooked cauliflower rice
- Heat half the coconut oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and season lightly with salt and black pepper.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp turns pink and slightly opaque, approximately 2-3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the onions, bell pepper, and any other optional vegetables you’d like to add. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the veggies to the plate with the shrimp.
- Add the remaining coconut oil. When hot, add the curry paste, coconut milk, and broth and whisk until thoroughly combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes.
- Return the shrimp and veggies to the skillet and add the spinach, fish sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine.
- Serve over steamed cauliflower rice.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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Laura is dedicated to a low-carb lifestyle after losing 52 pounds on the keto diet. As many of us do, she struggles with her weight and has found that one of the only diet lifestyles that allows her to maintain a healthy weight is a low-carb diet. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.