- 14-ounce can of coconut milk, left undisturbed for several hours
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 to 6 tablespoons Mussaman curry paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound of shrimp, preferably unshelled
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar, or to taste
To form the sauce: Open the can of coconut milk and skim off the top layer of thick cream, about 4 tablespoons worth. Stir the remaining milk to reincorporate the coconut cream.
Pour the oil into a large, nonstick lidded pan and set over medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the coconut cream and the curry paste. Stir the paste around until it is lightly browned and the oil has separated from the coconut in the cream. You have just cracked the coconut.
Add the rest of the seasonings: the coconut milk, about 1/2 cup of water to thin out the mixture, the fish sauce, and then sugar. You can add more or less water, depending on your preference for the consistency. Stir and bring to a simmer.
Add the shrimp of pork and gently simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the shrimp is barely cooked through. Serve immediately with rice.