Red-Curried Shrimp and Vegetables

Red-Curried Shrimp and Vegetables

I am not sure of the pairing of shrimp with grilled eggplant and grilled zucchini has ever actually occurred in an actual Thai recipe, but the ‘Red-Curry’ style spice paste I have put together for this dish is very Thai in spirit. Grilling the Vegetables adds a lovely smoky depth to the finished dish, and they pair beautifully with the Shrimp in the pungent, spicy, sauce.

Ingredient Notes

The Ingredient list in the Recipe Card Below calls for Shrimp Paste. This is a ferment, and very strong smelling and tasting product used all over South-East Asia, the Philippines, and China. You should be able to source it in Asian grocery stores quite easily, and there are many, many different varieties on-line, but if you prefer, you could also substitute for it with Thai Fish Sauce, although if you do, you should increase the amount to at least a Tablespoonful.

As for the Chili Paste, you can use any you like as long a it is not heavily flavored with other ingredients. I have used Sambal Oelek in this recipe and I would highly recommend it.

The Basic Method

Red Curry Paste
Red Curry Paste

First, put all the ingredients except the shrimp, vegetables, and basil, into a small bowl along with a tablespoon or two of water and blend to a smooth paste. Allow this to sit for an hour or two so that the flavors will marry nicely.

Grilling Eggplant Slices
Grilling Eggplant Slices

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with a little salt, brush lightly on both sides with a little oil and then grill on a barbecue or ridged frying pan until nicely grill marked and just tender. Repeat this with the zucchini and set both vegetables aside for the moment. This step, especially with the eggplant, will lend a nice smoky quality to the finished dish.

Frying Red Curry Paste in Oil
Frying Red Curry Paste in Oil

Heat a good three tablespoons of oil in a pan over moderately high heat and add the spice paste. Allow it to bubble and cook until the extra water has been driven off and the mix begins to separate from the oil.

Stir-Frying Shrimp in Red Curry Paste
Stir-Frying Shrimp in Red Curry Paste

Add the shrimp and saute just until they are pink.

Finishing the Red-Curried Shrimp and Vegetables
Finishing the Red-Curried Shrimp and Vegetables

Finally, add the vegetables along with the basil leaves and cook for a minute or so longer until the basil has wilted. Serve while still piping hot.

Your Recipe Card:

Red-Curried Shrimp and Vegetables

Red-Curried Shrimp and Vegetables uses the smoky depth of grilled Eggplant and Zucchini to enhance Shrimp in a Thai-style, Red Curry Sauce.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Chili Paste, Eggplant, Shrimp, Shrimp Paste, Zucchini
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb medium Shrimp;
  • 1 small Asian Eggplant sliced in ½ inch rounds;
  • 1 small Zucchini sliced in ½ inch rounds;
  • 1 small bunch fresh Basil leaves;
  • 1 level tbsp. Coriander Seed dry roasted and ground;
  • 1 level tsp. Cumin Seed dry roasted and ground;
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar;
  • 1 tbsp. Shrimp Paste;
  • 1 tsp. Ginger puree;
  • 1 tsp. Garlic puree;
  • 2 tbsp. Chili paste;

Instructions

  • Put all the ingredients except the shrimp, vegetables, and basil, into a small bowl along with a tablespoon or two of water and blend to a smooth paste. Allow this to sit for an hour or two.
  • Sprinkle the eggplant slices with a little salt, brush lightly on both sides with a little oil and then grill on a barbecue or ridged frying pan until nicely grill marked and just tender.
  • Repeat the preceding steps with the zucchini and set both vegetables aside for the moment.
  • Heat a good three tablespoons of oil in a pan over moderately high heat and add the spice paste. Allow it to bubble and cook until the extra water has been driven off and the mix begins to separate from the oil.
  • Add the shrimp and saute just until they are pink.
  • Add the vegetables along with the basil leaves and cook for a minute or so longer until the basil has wilted. Serve while still piping hot.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!