A warm and comforting creamy coconut red thai curry that’s easy and quick to put together with many layers of flavours from the shrimp paste, coconut cream, kaffir lime leaves and condensed milk.

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More often then not, I find myself always leaning towards takeout especially during hectic times of the year. It’s easier to just blame it on my laziness but truth be told I just over think food and forget that delicious food doesn’t always have to be complicated and take a decade to make.


Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry


So for anyone out there who falls into this rut like me, I would like to share my super easy and versatile red thai curry recipe in hopes that this recipe can bring you a whole lot of deliciousness without a lot of effort so you can use your time on more important things – like eating dessert – priorities πŸ™‚





For this red thai curry recipe, a few of the ingredients should be available at your local grocery store but a bulk of it (fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, red curry paste and shrimp paste) might be harder to find unless you shop for it at an Asian grocery store.


When you are shopping for shrimp paste, keep in mind that it is sometimes known as shrimp sauce as well. Look for a brownish gray paste-like sauce in a glass or plastic jar.


Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry


To keep things simple and quick, I use red curry paste for this recipe instead of making it from scratch but rest assured this shortcut does not compromise the flavour of it at all. πŸ™‚ In fact, I highly recommend keeping a small jar around all the time. Depending on the brand you buy, they almost always have all the main components of thai cuisines (kaffir lime leaves, lemon grasss, galangal, garlic, shrimp paste and chilis) and it takes the work out of finding these ingredients if they are not easy to find in your area – and the flavours are definitely authentic. πŸ™‚



Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry
Serve this with your choice of noodles or rice. I like to have mine with toasted rice cakes!



Once I discovered how flavourful and full flavouredΒ coconut cream was, I rarely ever use coconut milk now. Coconut cream has a more robust coconut flavour and provides a more creamy texture in anything it is used in due to it’s higher fat content.

Unfortunately, coconut cream is not always easy to find but if you can find it then definitely use it. If you can’t find coconut cream, you can use coconut milk but make sure to find a higher fat content one – I find those types of coconut milk are a lot more flavourful. Try to also find a coconut milk without a gajillion chemicals – ideally you want to find one with just coconut milk (or coconut extract) and water. Coconut milks with a lot of added chemicals and preservatives don’t have as much flavour.



This is a very versatile red thai curry and you can easily use any type of protein for this recipe. A few types I have used in the past successfully are:

  • Thinly Sliced Chicken (white and dark meat – use the meat marinade below)
  • Thinly Sliced Beef (use the meat marinade below)
  • Fish – this also works very well in this red thai curry. You don’t need to cut this super thin since fish is quite delicate and can break apart easily if it is sliced too thinly.
  • Tofu
  • Vegetables (red peppers, sugar snaps, snow peas, bok choy etc.)

Β Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry




For this recipe, I used condensed milk to give the curry a hint of sweetness but also give it an added creaminess as well. You can use palm sugar interchangeably with the condensed milk but the it will be slightly less sweet so tweak this to adjust this to your taste. If you substitute the condensed milk with white sugar, you will lose a bit of the creaminess – to compensate for that you can add an additional tablespoon of coconut milk. Keep in mind as well that white sugar is a lot sweeter than condensed milk so use half the amount of white sugar and work your way up slowly until it is at the right degree of sweetness for you.





Have you ever noticed that whenever you cook any type of thinly sliced chicken or beef they sometimes come out dry and sometimes tough? I have a solution for that – it’s my two ingredient super simple meat marinade that I pretty much use in all my stir fries.


Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry


It’s made of salt and water! It’s essentially a mini brine. The salt draws the water into meat and makes it super supple so that it is harder to over cook and dry out the meat. Neat eh? For this marinade, I rarely ever use salt though and I prefer to use either soy sauce or fish sauce instead.


Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry Recipe


Now THIS is comfort food! πŸ™‚


Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry Recipe

Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry

  • Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 Servings
  • Category: Main, Asian
  • Cuisine: Thai


A warm and comforting creamy coconut red thai curry that’s easy, versatile and quick to put together with many layers of flavours from the shrimp paste, coconut cream, kaffir lime leaves and condensed milk.


Beef & Chicken Marinade

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons water

Toppings & Garnishes (optional)

  • basil leaves
  • crushed roasted peanuts
  • red chili peppers
  • lime


Prep the Protein

  1. If you are using beef, chicken or pork as the protein – Thinly slice the meat and add in the marinade and set aside. The thinner you slice this, the less time it will take to fully cook it.
  2. If you are using veggies, tofu or fish as the protein cut them up into bite sized pieces and set aside

Putting the Curry Together

  1. Slice the onion and set aside
  2. Roughly chop the garlic and set aside
  3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a pot and set the stove to medium heat.
  4. Once the pot is hot, add in the onions and saute them until they are soft, then add the garlic in and cook it for 1 more minute until it is soft and fragrant.
  5. Add in the red curry paste and toast it for 1-2 minutes – it’s okay if some of it sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the coconut cream and gently scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the red curry paste off the bottom of the pot.
  7. Add in the water, shrimp paste, condensed milk and stir until everything is well combined
  8. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes
  9. Add in the fish sauce and adjust it to your preference of saltiness
  10. Adjust the heat back to medium low heat
  11. Add in the protein (beef, chicken, fish, tofu etc) and cook it for 5-8 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through. If you cut the meats thinly it shouldn’t take long for it to cook all the way through
  12. Remove from heat when it is done and garnish it with toppings of your choice and serve it with rice, noodles or rice cakes! Enjoy! πŸ™‚


  • You can substitute condensed milk with palm sugar. If you do, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of coconut cream to give it the creaminess it is missing
  • If you are substituting the condensed milk with sugar, start by adding only 1 tablespoon of sugar and tweak it to your liking. Sugar is much sweeter than condensed milk. Add in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of coconut cream to replace the missing creaminess
  • If you cannot find coconut cream, try to find a coconut milk with high fat content with as little preservatives and chemicals as possible. The ingredient list should ideally just be coconut milk (or coconut extract) and water.
  • If you are using fish as your protein, try not to cut it too thin. Fish is super delicate and will break apart in the curry if it is cut too thinly.
  • When shopping for shrimp paste, keep in mind that shrimp paste and shrimp sauce is used interchangeably. Look for a brownish grey paste in a glass or plastic jar.


  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 477 kcal
  • Sugar: 13 g
  • Sodium: 1187 mg
  • Fat: 35 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Protein: 20 g

Keywords: red thai curry

Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, however I provide these links to make items easier to find if you cannot purchase this locally and I would prefer you buy your items locally if possible to support your local shops (and chances are they are cheaper locally as well!) πŸ™‚




17 thoughts on “Creamy Coconut Red Thai Curry”

  1. I love Thai curries! I try to have red curry paste on hand at all times. This looks wonderful!

    1. I am SO in love with coconut cream, it has replaced coconut milk for me because of the awesome flavour. πŸ˜€ I’m happy you enjoy the alternatives, I always get bored with sticking with one thing so I love sharing versatile recipes whenever I can πŸ™‚

  2. Making your own curry is always worth it, being able to control what you use and having the satisfaction of having something so delicious that you made yourself. This is a tasty sounding recipe with some lovely ingredients.

    1. Yes, I absolutely agree! There’s also a bit more substance to it too since you can load it up with ingredients as well πŸ˜€ and I love that!

  3. This spicy hot recipe is very stimulating to my appetite, I like spicy hot ingredients on my food, but yours is slightly different, adding condense milk… Good !

    1. Thank you! I love condensed milk haha so I use it whenever I can, especially if it adds creaminess to things

  4. Soooo many awesome things packed into this post Joyce! I am totally with you on the takeout thing (and desserts taking priority, hehe!), and as a result am always quick to jump on delicious yet quick and easy weeknight meal recipes. I can’t wait to give this one a try, I’m such a big fan of thai curry! Loving your super easy and clever meat marinade too, that’s super helpful πŸ˜€

    1. Dessert always takes priority! I just wished I had a baker around the house to make me the desserts haha πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy it if you try it! You can totally make vegetarian too πŸ™‚ I actually like using those little deep fried tofu balls in this because it absorbs all the soup and flavour! πŸ™‚

    1. Gosh I hear ya. This is a crazy cold winter this year for us too so I’ve been living on this for a bit! haha. The condensed milk definitely adds a nice creaminess to it πŸ™‚

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