Thai Red Curry with Prawns

Make this Thai Red Curry with Prawns for a dinner with a kick. Serve with cilantro, lime and rice as a complete meal.


There’s a variety of ingredients that can be used for a Thai red curry with prawns. I went a little non-traditional with my dish, but feel free to add as much (or as little) to your curry as you wish. Below are my suggestions.

Prepare your ingredients for the red curry before you start cooking.
  • Red Curry: Use a red curry paste from an Asian grocery store or buy a pre-made red curry sauce. If you choose to use just a red curry paste, add in ginger and fish sauce as well. The pre-made sauce mixes will already have aromatics added. My favorite pre-made sauce mix is from Trader Joe’s!
  • Garlic: Add this sweet aromatic crushed or finely diced. Add it in just before adding the curry paste.
  • Yellow onion: Cut your onion into slices and sauté.
  • Red Bell Pepper: A typical ingredient seen in curries, slice your bell pepper to match your onion and add at the same time.
  • Protein: I used a combination of prawns and chicken for this Thai curry dish. If you choose to do the same, add in the chicken first and then cook the prawns for a minute or two before adding in the sauce.
  • Coconut Milk: Creaminess from coconut milk is absolutely essential to a red curry. Add in regular coconut milk, lite coconut milk or even cream if you’d rather use a dairy option.
  • Baby Corn: Add in a can of chopped baby corn to your curry. It adds texture and crunch.
  • Bamboo Shoots: Add a small can of these tender bamboo shoots to your curry to add an authentic ingredient to your curry.
  • Cilantro: Stirring in fresh cilantro right before serving is another way to brighten the heavy richness of a red curry.
  • Lime: Add a lime wedge for serving. Let individuals squeeze lime on top of the curry to brighten rich flavors.

How to Make Thai Red Curry with Prawns

Making this red curry is actually quite easy. It’s all about putting the ingredients into the curry in the correct order.

First, add a bit of neutral cooking oil to a large stock pot or dutch oven. Allow the oil and pot to get hot over medium high heat. Add the onion and red bell pepper and give them a good stir. Allow the onions and bell pepper to saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken (if you’re using chicken) to the peppers and onions and allow the chicken to cook. Season with salt and pepper. Give the contents of your pot another good stir and allow the chicken to cook fully.

Add chicken (if you're using it) to your onions and peppers.
Add chicken (if you’re using it) to your onions and peppers.
Then add the broccoli and prawns to the pot.
Then add the broccoli and prawns to the pot.

Once the chicken is cooked, add in the peeled and deveined prawns. You can either leave on the tails or choose to pinch them off. Add in broccoli if you are choosing to use that as well. It’s not the most traditional ingredient to use in a red curry but it is a great source of nutrients.

Allow the broccoli and prawns to sautee with the other contents of the pot.

Once the prawns become a rosy pink, add in the red curry sauce (or paste), bamboo shoots, baby corn and coconut milk.

Give everything a good hard stir and allow it to com e to a boil. Set your heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.

Continue adding flavors for the Thai red curry by adding the curry, baby corn, bamboo shots and coconut milk.
Continue adding flavors for the Thai red curry by adding the curry, baby corn, bamboo shots and coconut milk.
Allow guests to serve themselves from the pot of Thai red curry with prawns.
Allow guests to serve themselves from the pot of Thai red curry with prawns.

Serve your red curry with rice or even rice noodles for something a little different. If you feel your curry is too thick, add in a seafood or chicken broth.

Taste before serving and add white pepper and salt to taste.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge.

People Also Ask about Red Curry

What does Red Curry taste like?

Red curry is one of the most versatile curries that is a moderate but bold blend of red chiles and spices. One of the most popular curries in Thai cuisine, red curry is also the spiciest. While you can find a hot and firey blend of spices for the most adventurous of palettes, if you are looking for a tamer, more mild version, you can find that also in many Western restaurants as well as easily adjust the spice level when making it yourself.

What’s the difference between red, yellow and green curry?

Red Curry: Red curry uses red chiles as the base for the curry paste. Also, red curry is generally the spiciest of the curries.

Yellow Curry: Yellow curry uses an Indian-style curry powder and Turmeric base. Generally the least spicy.

Green Curry: Green curry uses coriander roots and green chiles as the base for its curry.

What goes into red curry?

Generally, you will see a form of protein such as chicken, beef, shrimp, duck or tofu with vegetables like bamboo shoots, baby corn, bell pepper, onion, ginger and garlic in a Thai red curry.

Since Thai red curry is the spiciest of the curries, oftentimes, the chef will add in more Thai chiles to bump up the heat.

How to serve red curry

The traditional way to serve your red curry over a bed of white jasmine rice. Garnish your dish with freshly washed and chopped cilantro and a wedge of lime.

If you are looking for other ways to serve your curry, add in a little bit of broth and serve your curry as a soup over thin vermicelli noodles. You can also serve your red curry over quinoa, brown rice or your other favorite grains.

Replacements for coconut milk in Thai red curry

Adding a full-fat coconut milk will give your Thai red curry with prawns a creamy consistency and slightly nutty flavor. The milk will also thin out the curry so that you can easily pour it over rice or noodles.

While using a full-fat coconut milk will always make your Thai red curry with prawns taste better, there are some other options if you are looking to cut out some of the saturated fat that is found in coconut milk.

Lite Coconut Milk: For this recipe, I replaced full-fat coconut milk with a reduced fat version. I didn’t even really notice a difference.

Cream: If you don’t have coconut milk on hand (or forgot to buy some) you can replace it with two cups of cream instead.

Greek Yogurt: Another replacement for coconut milk is greek yogurt mixed with water or milk to give it a more liquid or (pourable) consistency.

How to Store Thai red curry with prawns

Wondering what the best way to store and reheat this meal? If you have any leftovers, allow them to cool and then store in an airtight container. Put it in the fridge and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

When reheating, place the contents of the container, or just spoon some into a stock pot and reheat over a medium-high flame. Give your pot a good stir and allow it to come to a boil. Serve with rice or noodles.

More Easy Recipes like This

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Thai Red Curry with Prawns

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sarah
Course: DinnerCuisine: Thai, Pan-Asian, AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time







  • Add the oil to a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add in the sliced onion and bell pepper and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic, ginger, bamboo shoots, baby corn, broccoli, red curry paste and prawns. Stir well and allow the shrimp to cook.
  • Add in the coconut milk and bring the pot to a boil. Let the pot simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve your red curry with lime wedges, cilantro and rice.

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