I love Asian cuisine - especially Japanese and Thai. I can't remember what got me into curries, but they've been a consistent part of my monthly dishes for years. I love the flavor, spice, and herbs - and everything from shrimp to chicken to tofu goes along for the ride.
Back Home, Years Ago
One of the first dishes I began cooking on my own is this Thai curry shrimp bowl. And I introduced my family to it, too - both my sister and mom - The AttaGrill Patio and Mama Cheryl's Journal. They loved it, and so did Sean and my dad. So it's been a family hit for years even though it was so different from our typical dishes.
It goes back to flavor - you just can't beat it or pretend not to like it.
I've taken it through many iterations but throughout each version, it's been consistently awesome. For example, I used to pan-fry the shrimp separately with ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Now I just poach it in the coconut milk.
It may seem like a lot of ingredients, and it is. But they all play a part. And the dish isn't complicated to make - it just takes time to prep.
If you think of things conceptually, we have these buckets:
- Base (the most parts)
- Vegetables (anything you want, really)
- Protein (shrimp, tofu, chicken)
- Garnish (basil, cilantro, spring onion)
It helps to separate out what's needed and where they go. The curry sauce (base) has the most components. And you can't shortcut them: shallot, curry powder, curry paste, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, serrano, makrut lime leaves, coconut milk, and chicken stock. Whew. But it's easy!
Shiitake mushrooms, red bell peppers, and snow peas are my go-to veggies for this dish.
Don't forget to remove the string from the snow peas. It's not acceptable.
As far as the shrimp goes, they're gonna get poached, so clean 'em and set aside.
Start by sautéing things in grapeseed oil on medium heat until fragrant. You don't want any browning. Stir it around as it cooks.
Then add curry powder and continue to stir. You may need to add a quick dash of oil. After a few minutes, add the coconut milk and chicken stock. Let that simmer away while you cook rice.
I use 1 cup of basmati rice along with 1.5 cups of water and 2-3 makrut lime leaves. Cook for 15 minutes then let sit for 10 minutes.
Don't screw up your rice by taking the lid off!
If you haven't learned to cook rice properly at this point in your life, forget about it. You're done. Go back to Google.
While things are cooking, clean and dry the shrimp and set them aside.
After the liquid has cooked for at least 30 minutes, it's time to add the shiitake mushrooms and red pepper. Wait another 5 minutes or so and add the shrimp. Once the shrimp are almost no longer translucent, add the snow peas. When they turn bright green (just a few minutes), you're ready to plate!
I use a cocktail glass to mold a rice dome. First, coat the glass with oil then spoon in the rice, pushing it with the spoon to make it compact. Flip it over on a place and then arrange the vegetables and shrimp around the rice. Spoon on as much curry as you like.
Garnish with some basil and sliced spring onion. I used Thai basil here, but I don't prefer it - it's strong on the anise side. Cilantro or Italian basil are my favorites.
Slice the onion at an angle to make it look fancy. Leela loves fancy.
🐶 Leela Storm's Suggested Pairings
- 🎵 Eddie Murphy (SNL) - Rub a Dub in tha Hot Tub
- 🍷 Crisp Chardonnay
🍽 Kitchen Critique
What can I say? I've been making this for over 15 years at this point and it's never let me down. I used to think it was a challenge, but nowadays, it's just an afterthought.
Similar to ramen, the flavor is great in any season. You get a little bit of sweet from the curry powder and coconut milk along with spice from the pepper. You can adjust the heat by the amount of serrano pepper and seeds that are added.
The makrut leaves provide a great underlying citrus component to the sauce and the rice. Crunch and texture come through from the pepper and snow peas. Shiitake is just another great flavor.
This dish scales easily, too. So make it for two or make it for a party and everyone will be beyond pleased.
For leftovers, the curry will taste great - just like leftover pasta sauce is great the next day. But veggies will be soft and colorless, so I recommend keeping the curry separate and cooking fresh vegetables.
- Don't leave out any ingredients - it's worth your time to prepare everything and cook with what's outlined.
- If you can't cook rice, it's time to get your life right.
- The work and time is in the prep - the cook is easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy.
- Have some naan or bread available to mop up extra sauce.