Creamy Thai Red Curry

  • Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 Servings 1x
  • 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

  • 1/2 lb beef (or any type of protein)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons water

Curry Ingredients

Toppings & Garnishes (optional)

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


Prepare 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 20-30 minutes
  9. Adjust the heat back to medium low heat
  10. 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
  11. Add in the fish sauce at the very end and adjust it to your preference of saltiness
  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! 🙂


  • 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, thai red curry, coconut curry

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