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Oh Shrimp Curry Bowls, how I love thee! Not only do you satisfy adult palates with your complex, fresh-tasting Thai-inspired ingredients, but even picky kids go for your sweet-savory sauce over noodles. Plus, you’re healthy and not complicated to make!
Good News for Parents of Picky Eaters
For all you moms out there with young picky eaters, are you soooo tired of eating a narrow, kid-approved dinner rotation? I feel you…and I have some encouragement for you.
I started making these incredible Shrimp Curry Bowls years ago, because my husband and I were craving complex flavors and textures. I’d offer some to my picky little kids in vain. But, over the years, my persnickety people turned into more curious eaters. Now at ages 16, 14, and 12, this dish has become part of the “no whine” dinner rotation at the Tiemeyer house.
Prayers, good vibes and positive thoughts be with you, oh parents of the picky eater. May your preschooler’s palate be expanded and your parent culinary wishes come true with this recipe.
Now, it’s time to gather up all your ingredients. You may or may not be familiar with all of these, but you can find all of them in your regular grocery store.
Coconut Curry Sauce:
- Avocado oil or olive oil – Coconut oil would also be good here.
- Yellow onion – Be sure to finely chop this. Or you can use a shallot instead.
- Fresh ginger – I buy a knob of ginger, peel it, and then freeze it to use in recipes for many months to come. It’s super economical and works great.
- Red curry paste – I recommend the Thai Kitchen brand.
- Unsweetened coconut milk – America’s Test Kitchen recommends Goya or Thai Kitchen brands.
- Sugar – You can use regular cane sugar or coconut sugar, which is a little less processed and has more molasses flavor.
- Sriracha sauce – A Thai hot sauce that’s easy to find.
- Fish sauce – Learn how to select fish sauce here.
- Soy sauce – For gluten-free, use coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce.
- Fresh lime juice – You’ll need about half of a fresh lime, plus more limes for serving.
- Soba noodles – These are made with buckwheat and are delicious, but if you can’t find them, whole wheat angel hair pasta is a great substitute.
- Peeled, deveined raw shrimp – I prefer the 31/40 count size. If it’s frozen, let it thaw in the fridge overnight or place in a colander and run cold water over the shrimp to defrost.
- Frozen stir-fry vegetables – I buy a bag from the freezer section but you can substitute this with 3 cups fresh chopped vegetables like carrots, broccoli, sugar snap peas, etc.
- Shredded purple cabbage – Adds color and crunch and is a must-have garnish for serving.
- Chopped peanuts – Adds saltiness and crunch and is another must-have garnish for serving.
How to Make Curry Shrimp
Before you get going, peruse through these process shots and quick overview of the recipe to get your bearings.
Make the Sauce
Stir fry the onion and ginger in oil, until soft. Add the curry paste, coconut milk, sugar, Sriracha, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Simmer to reduce and thicken a bit. Stir in the lime juice.
Use your time wisely in the kitchen by doubling the sauce and freezing a batch along with frozen shrimp and stir-fry veggies for another dinner later.
Cook the Noodles:
Cook the soba noodles according to package directions and drain. Set aside and toss with a little oil to keep from sticking.
Stir-Fry the Shrimp
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, stir-fry the shrimp until pink, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper while it cooks. Set aside on a plate.
Stir-Fry the Veggies
Add oil to the same pan and stir-fry the frozen or fresh vegetables, until veggies are crisp-tender. Remove pan from the heat.
Assemble Your Bowls
Each person can build their bowl by adding noodles, veggies, shrimp, and sauce. Top the bowls with the purple cabbage, chopped peanuts, and a lime wedge.
Make It a Freezer Meal
When I’m making this dish for my family, I usually buy double the ingredients so I can make one for dinner and another batch into a freezer meal kit for later. It’s really quite simple.
How to Freeze For Later: Prepare the sauce in Step 1 of the recipe below. Freeze the sauce in a freezer container or bag next to the frozen shrimp and frozen vegetables.
How to Prepare From Frozen: Note: You will need to have pasta, shredded purple cabbage, peanuts, and lime wedges on hand. Thaw the sauce and shrimp. (Note: Do not thaw the frozen vegetables.) Follow cooking instructions starting with Step 2.
Be sure to check out all of our best 70+ Freezer Meals.
How to Serve Shrimp Curry
So you have to trust me on this, ok? You HAVE to build your bowls this way with these toppings for the full experience. (Well, you can do what you want, but I’m just trying to lead you down the path to a flavor explosion.)
- To a bowl, add your noodles, some stir-fry veggies, and shrimp.
- Drizzle the warm sauce all over your bowl–as much as you like– and toss. There will be plenty to go around.
- Now, here’s the most important part. Top your saucy bowls with chopped peanuts, some thinly sliced red cabbage, and finally squeeze a lime wedge over the top.
- And…you can thank me later. 🙂
More Healthy Dinner Ideas
Try some of our other healthy, family-friendly dinner recipes like these.
Did you make this? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram at @thrivinghome so we can see your creations and cheer you on!
Coconut Curry Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste (recommend: Thai Kitchen brand)
- 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (recommend: Goya or Thai Kitchen brands)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (sub: coconut sugar)
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (sub: coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about half of a fresh lime)
- 8 ounces (1/2 pound) soba noodles or whole wheat angel hair pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil, divided
- 1 pound peeled, deveined, raw shrimp (I usually buy the 31/40 count; make sure they are thawed)
- Salt and pepper
- 16-ounce bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables (sub: 3 cups fresh chopped vegetables like carrots, broccoli, sugar snap peas, etc)
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage, for serving
- Chopped peanuts, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
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Make It Now:
- Sauce: Heat the oil in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the curry paste; stir fry for 1 minute. Stir in the coconut milk, sugar, Sriracha, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Simmer for 15-20 minutes to reduce and thicken a bit, although it will still be a soupy consistency at the end. Stir in the lime juice. Taste and add more Sriracha or salt, if needed. (Move on to next steps while the sauce simmers.)
- Noodles: Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Set aside and toss with a little oil to keep from sticking.
- Shrimp: Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Pat shrimp dry. Stir fry the shrimp until pink, about 2-3 minutes, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper while it cooks. Set aside on a plate.
- Vegetables: Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan. Add frozen or fresh vegetables. Stir fry for about 5-7 minutes, until veggies are crisp-tender. Remove pan from the heat.
- Assembly: Each person can build their bowl by adding noodles, veggies, shrimp, and sauce. Top the bowls with the purple cabbage, chopped peanuts, and a lime wedge.
Freeze For Later: Follow Step 1. After preparing the sauce, freeze in a freezer container or bag next to the frozen shrimp and frozen vegetables.
Prepare From Frozen: Note: You will need to have pasta, purple cabbage, peanuts, and lime wedges on hand. Thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator or in a colander by running cool water over them. Thaw the sauce in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting of the microwave. (Note: Do not thaw the frozen vegetables.) Follow cooking instructions starting with Step 2.
- Tip: Be sure to double the sauce and freeze along with an extra bag of shrimp and veggies as a meal kit for another dinner, too.
- Gluten-Free Version: In place of soy sauce, use coconut aminos or gluten-free Tamari soy sauce. In place of the soba noodles, use gluten-free spaghetti or angel hair pasta like Banza brand.
- Fresh Ginger Note: Ginger paste is the only substitution that works for the fresh ginger in this recipe. I’ve tried dried ginger and it simply doesn’t work. Make sure you have fresh ginger on hand and wrap and freeze the extra for another time.
- Where We Get Our Shrimp: I love ButcherBox‘s wild-caught shrimp so much that I order it in nearly every box I get. We love all of ButcherBox’s healthy, responsibly sourced seafood and meats. Read my full review here.