This Vietnamese Shrimp Curry is healthy and heartwarming!
Some years ago, I met a woman from Vietnam who introduced me to the flavors of her country. After my culinary training in Thailand, I noticed there were some similarities to the Vietnamese food I had come to know over the years. I started to do some research on traditional Vietnamese cooking. After some time, my search turned me toward a Vietnamese chef named Helen Le. She is very popular on YouTube and she has published a cookbook. Among her recipes is this Vietnamese Shrimp Curry. I love pumpkin, okra, and shrimp and decided to give it a try. All I can say is WOW! The colors and flavors of this Vietnamese Shrimp Curry are marvelous. With a few modifications to make it my own, this dish is now in the regular rotation. Given my love of Southeast Asian food, I am adding Vietnam to my list of countries to visit in the near future. Until I get there, I will be reaching out to my old friend to see if there is another authentic recipe I can share from this food-rich culture.
Above are the ingredients. In the original recipe, Helen adds sweet potatoes and pumpkin to her curry. I found that to be too much for me so I choose to remove the sweet potato. She also adds the onions at the end however since I prefer my onions well cooked, I decided to add mine earlier on in the process. She also cooks this Vietnamese Curry Shrimp with water. While this is a reasonable approach, I find the mixture of half water and half vegetable broth makes the sauce a bit richer. Be sure to pound the Lemongrass as it helps release the flavor (below).
Now we’re cooking! This Vietnamese Curry Shrimp has a perfect balance of spices. It’s hearty, flavorful, and not overly spicy. If you prefer a little more heat, feel free to add a touch of your favorite chili. Overall the dish is somewhere between a soup and a delicious curry. Either way, it will warm your soul.
I hope you will follow in love with this Vietnamese Curry Shrimp just like I did. Enjoy!
- 1½ pound extra-large shrimp or prawns, deveined and cleaned, tails on
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lemongrass stalk cut into 3 inches pieces, slightly bruised
- 1 teaspoon lemongrass minced
- 1 pound Asian pumpkin or sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 7 ladyfingers (okra) cut the ends and then into one-inch pieces
- 1 small yellow onion sliced
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup vegetable or prawn stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro for garnishing (Optional)
- Season the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of fish or vegetable stock. Add some salt and pepper to it. Set aside.
- Bring a wok or large saucepan to a medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the bruised lemongrass and stir-fry for about 30 seconds to bring out the aroma. Add the remaining minced lemongrass, shallots, and garlic. Fry gently for about 18 seconds.
- Add curry powder, turmeric powder stir together. Add tomato paste. Stir. Add coconut milk, water, stock, stir and bring to a boil. Add salt and sugar. Stir. Add pumpkin and onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add Shrimp and okra and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer curry to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
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