Thai shrimp, pumpkin and spinach red curry
Thai curry is one of our favorite dinners. Delicious, crispy and juicy shrimp, in an aromatic sauce with a tender and sweet pumpkin and spinach. It‘s really quick to make (washing the spinach is the most time consuming here).
It can be not so easy to assemble all the ingredients (you can buy them without problems in oriental food stores or on the internet), but once you buy them you can store them in the fridge for a long time and make tasty curries many times. Vegetables can be freely changed, depending on what you have on hand, keeping the curry base unchanged. The original curry paste is unfortunately made of hard-to-get ingredients, so it is best to buy a ready-made one, lemongrass can be omitted (but I highly recommend finding it, because it adds a wonderful lemony aroma to the curry), the tamarind paste can be replaced with the lime juice (although it lack the slight fruity sweetness). When the pumpkin season is over you can use sweet potatoes.
Preparation of red curry is very simple, the only thing you need to pay attention to in this recipe is the preparation of shrimps. You have to be careful not to overcook them, they should be poached gently in the warm sauce (if overcooked they are tough and rubbery). Thanks to this method, they are delicate, crispy and juicy.
I highly recommend this recipe, you need to try it!
- 1 can coconut milk, 400ml / 14 oz
- 400 ml vegetable / chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons thai red curry paste
- 2 cloves garlic
- a piece of ginger, about 3 cm / 1 inch
- 1 stalk lemongrass, optional
- 600g / 1.3 lbs pumpkin / squash, seedless and skinless, or sweet potatoes (I used a butternut squash)
- 125g / 4.4 oz fresh spinach, 2 large handfuls
- 225g / 8 oz shrimps, peeled and thawed
- 5 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons tamarind paste, or lime juice to taste
- a piece of palm sugar, about 2 cmx1cm / 1 inch, or light brown sugar
- to finish: 100g / 3.5 oz jasmine rice, fresh coriander leaves
- Open a can of coconut milk (don't shake the can), a thick mass should be at the top (coconut cream), and coconut water at the bottom. Spoon out about ⅔ of the cream, add into a large pot, heat over a medium heat until bubbling and until oil begins to separate from the cream.
- Add the curry paste with garlic and ginger (finely chopped, mixed in a food processor or mashed with a pestle and a mortar) and lemongrass (bruised with a knife handle) and cook for 2 minutes.
- Peel the pumpkin / squash, cut into cubes approx. 1.5 cm / ½ inch, add to the pot, cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the remaining coconut milk and the broth, cook for another 10 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender (cooking time depends on the type of pumpkin).
- Add washed and dried spinach and palm sugar. Cook briefly, about 30 seconds, until the spinach leaves are slightly wilted.
- Thaw the shrimps (you can put them into a warm water for a while).
- Reduce the heat to the minimum and wait until the curry stops boiling (this is important) but is still very hot. Add the shrimps, stir in and remove the pot from the heat. Stir from time to time for about 3 minutes until the shrimps are cooked through (they will change their color from gray to light pink). You can take one shrimp out, cut it in half and see if it's ready in the middle.
- Season the curry with fish sauce and tamarind paste. If the curry is not enough salty - add fish sauce, not enough sour – tamarind paste, not enough sweet - sugar (you will have to put a couple of teaspoons of sauce into a small pot and heat it with sugar so that it can dissolve).
- Serve with rice and sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves.
- this curry can be eaten as a soup (without the rice) or as a main dish (with rice). When eaten with rice it must be good seasoned, as the addition of rice will dilute its flavor.
Last Updated on