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Creamy Coconut Thai Red Curry
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5 from 8 votes

Creamy Thai Red Curry

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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Asian, Main
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 3 Servings
Calories: 477kcal
Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks


Beef & Chicken Marinade

  • ½ 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


Preparing and Marinating the Protein

  • 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.
  • 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

  • Slice the onion and set aside
  • Roughly chop the garlic and set aside
  • Add 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a pot and set the stove to medium heat.
  • Once the pot is hot, add in the onions and saute them until they are soft, then add the garlic and kaffir lime leaves in and cook it for 1 more minute until it is soft and fragrant.
  • 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.
  • Add the coconut cream and gently scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon to scrape all the burnt red curry paste off the bottom of the pot. The burnt red curry on the bottom of the pot gives the curry additional flavor.
  • Add in the water, shrimp paste, condensed milk and stir until everything is well combined
  • Adjust the heat to low heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes

Cooking the Protein in the Curry

  • Once you have simmered the curry for 20-30 minutes, adjust the heat back to medium-low heat and give the curry 2-3 minutes to come to come to temperature again.
  • Add in the protein (beef, chicken, fish, tofu etc) and cook it until it is cooked all the way through. The time it takes for the meat to cook all the way through will depend on how thick you sliced the meat. It takes about 5-8 minutes for the meat to cook all the way through for me when I slice it ⅛ inch thick.
  • Add in the fish sauce at the very end and adjust it to your preference of saltiness
  • Remove from heat when it is done and discard kaffir lime leaves. Garnish the curry 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
  • You can substitute the condensed milk with honey as well, but add 1 extra tablespoon of coconut cream.
  • 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.
  • You can easily use leftover meats and protein for this recipe! If you use leftovers instead of raw protein, add it in under the 'Cooking the Protein in the Curry' section and cook it for 1-2 minutes instead of 5-8 minutes.


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