A nice balance of heat and sweet plays out in this bright curry. The more I make this one, the more I love it. I substituted 1 lb of lobster claw meat recently, and can honestly say that it only made the recipe that much better.
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp. jarred or homemade red curry paste
- 15-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth, fish broth, or water
- 1 lb. shrimp (21 to 25 per lb.), peeled and deveined
- 2 cups sugar snap peas (7 to 8 oz.), trimmed
- 5 wild lime leaves, torn or cut into quarters (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. palm sugar or light brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- A handful of fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves
- Hot cooked rice or rice noodles, for serving
- 1 long, slender fresh red chile (such as red jalapeno or serrano), thinly slices on the diagonal (optional)
*I used 5 hot green finger peppers to add some additional heat to this dish.
- Heat the oil in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until a bit of curry paste just sizzles when added to the pan. Add all the curry paste and cook, pressing and stirring with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula to soften the pasta and mix it in with the oil, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to develop.
- Increase the heat to medium high and let the curry come to a strong boil. Add the shrimp, sugar snap peas, and half the lime leaves (if using), and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp curl and turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
- Tear the basil leaves in half (or quarters if they are large), and stir them into the curry, along with the remaining lime leaves (if using). Let rest for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Serve hot or warm with rice or noodles, garnished with the chile slices (if using).
Substitutions are quicker: In recipes like these, traditional ingredients like palm sugar and Thai basil can be replaced with easier-to-find items like light brown sugar and Italian basil. Wild lime leaves have no good substitution, though, so leave them out if you can’t find them.