Thai prawn massaman curry is a boldly flavoured quick dinner that tastes like it took way longer than the 25 minutes you spent making it!
The flavours of mace, cardamom, and cloves are not the norm in Thai cuisine but sing gloriously in a classic massaman curry paste.
Thai Shrimp Massaman Curry.
I love cooking with prawns, in fact I love cooking with fish and seafood.
Many consider cooking prawns to be a “dark art”. But they really are simple to cook with and the secret is speed!
This easy massaman curry cooks in under half an hour and the shrimp cook for just 5 minutes!
As I mentioned in my Thai beef massaman curry recipe, the massaman is an outlier in Thai food.
The flavours of mace, cardamom, and cloves are atypical but add a glorious flavour.
When combined with the classic sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavours of Thai food something special happens!
Frequently Asked Questions.
Store bought or homemade curry paste?
I love making curry pastes and homemade Thai massaman curry paste is one that is easy to make and tastes exceptional.
But I know we ain’t all like me and I have been putting in some leg work on store-bought pastes. I am good to you I know!
My two favourite varieties are Lobo and Maesri. Lobo comes in a 50g packet which is perfect for cooking for two. Maesri in a 125g tin, but it does freeze well.
What size prawns should I use?
I like to go large in this recipe! I use size 16-20 which refers to the number of prawns you get per pound.
Are frozen prawns ok?
Most definitely! There ain’t exactly a wild trade in fresh prawns here in rural Hungary.
But I always ensure that I defrost before I start to cook, you can do this quickly by running them under cold water for 5-6 minutes.
Can I use pre blanched or cooked prawns?
Yes but cook them for less time. In fact you don’t need to cook them, you just need to heat them through, so just throw them in for the last 2 minutes.
Can I use other vegetables?
Of course, I like potatoes in my Massaman curries, you can swap them out for sweet potatoes if you want.
But if speed is your priority how about using broccoli or cauliflower?
They will not even need blanching, just make up the base of the curry and add them in, cook for 5-7 minutes then add the prawns for the last 5 minutes.
I’d honestly say just add rice and if you can’t be bothered to do that increase the vegetables and you have a complete meal.
There are however a few garnishes that would work well with this recipe.
You could add some sliced chillies if you want to go hotter. A little coriander and maybe sliced green onion.
If you wanted something a little more then these crispy fried onions would make a fantastic garnish!
This Thai prawn or shrimp massaman curry, is hot, sour, sweet and salty and chock full of big bold flavours, no one will believe it took you less than half an hour to make it!
- 350 g (12 oz) Large Prawns
- 125 g (1 Cup) Potatoes
- 50 g (Approx 1.5" or 35-40mm Cube) Tamarind Pulp
- 100 g (2/3 Cup) Green Beans
- 75 g (1/2 Cup) Onion
- 2 Tbsp Massaman Curry Paste
- 165 ml (~2/3 Cup) Coconut Milk
- 1 Stick Cinnamon
- 2 Cardamom Pods
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 50 g (1/3 Cup) Cashew Nuts
- 250 ml (1 Cup) Chicken Stock
- 1 Lime
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- Peel the potatoes and cut into 2-2.5cm cubes and cook for 15 minutes in boiling water until just cooked.
- Pour 50ml of boiling water over the tamarind paste and allow to sit for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Remove the heads and shells from the prawns.
- Cut the green beans into 3-4 cm lengths.
- Cut the onion in half then peel and slice into 2-3mm thick half-moon shapes.
- Pass the soaked tamarind through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Heat a wok over a medium-high heat and add in the cardamom pod, cinnamon, and star anise and toast for 60 seconds.
- Add the oil and the onion and stir fry for 2 minutes
- Add the massaman curry paste and fry off for 60 seconds.
- Pour in the stock, fish sauce, brown sugar, and add the coconut milk, then stir to form a sauce.
- Add the tamarind pulp and prawns and cook for 3 minutes.
- Throw in the potatoes, green beans, and cashew nuts then heat through for another 2 minutes.
- Now is a good time to taste and add more fish sauce if you need salt.
- Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze in at the table.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 781Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 379mgSodium: 3496mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 6gSugar: 20gProtein: 54g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.