Dinner Tonight: Red Curry Shrimp with Basil

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Though I've experimented with Thai red curry paste for its intended use—stirring into coconut milk to make remarkably deep flavored curries in very little time—I was attracted to this recipe which uses it in a completely different way: whisked with oil to make a pungent, spicy marinade. Unlike curry powder, which can be easily hobbled together if you've got the right spices in your pantry, curry paste is harder to reproduce at home.

Count me in for any dish that has fewer than five ingredients. The recipe from an issue of Gourmet a couple years ago paints the marinade over shrimp, which are broiled for a few minutes until just cooked through. It's intended as an appetizer, but the flavors are satisfying enough for dinner with a little white rice. The paste gets caramelized all over the shrimp, which are spicy and light, while the cool, fragrant basil leaves are the herbal counterpoint.

Dinner Tonight: Red Curry Shrimp with Basil

About This Recipe

Active time:10 minutes
Total time:10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 20-25 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 20-25 basil leaves


  1. 1

    In a medium bowl, combine the curry paste and oil to make a marinade. Toss with the shrimp to thoroughly coat.

  2. 2

    In the meantime, preheat a boiler over high heat. Arrange shrimp on a baking sheet. Broil on one side until cooked through, 2-3 minutes.

  3. 3

    Thread shrimp on skewers with basil leaves, or simply toss them together and serve with white rice.


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