Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Tofu brings to mind the delicious seafood and coconut milk-based soups of Thailand.  Yellow curry powder brings its heady aroma, deep flavors and vibrant color to this curry without overwhelming the other ingredients.  The shrimp and tofu boost the protein content while the lime leaves, fish sauce and lemon juice add their fresh, bright and complementary flavor elements.  Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Tofu can be served over rice (traditional), sautéed cauliflower rice (for the carb conscious) or as is, which is our favorite way to enjoy it.

Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes Serves 4


  • 4 Tbs. Cooking Oil
  • 1 cup Onion
  • 1 Tb. Garlic
  • 1 Tb. Ginger
  • 2 Red Thai Chilis, or 1 Serrano Chili
  • 1 Bell Pepper (green or red)
  • 2 Zucchini or Yellow Squash, ends trimmed and sliced thinly into rounds or half-moons
  • 6 or 8 Makrut Lime Leaves*
  • 2 Tbs. Yellow Curry Powder*
  • 1 13.5 oz. can Coconut Milk, well-shaken prior to opening
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 – 1 ½ lbs medium-to-large Shrimp, peeled
  • 6.5 oz Extra Firm Tofu “cutlet” *
  • 1 Tb. Fish Sauce (nam pla) *
  • 3 Tbs freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 large handful Cilantro leaves

Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Tofu


  1. Peel and trim the onion, garlic and ginger; chop the onion, mince the garlic and ginger and combine all in a bowl.
  2. Slice the Thai chilis into thin rounds and add to the bowl with the onion, garlic and ginger.
  3. Trim and seed the pasilla chili or bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces and place in a second bowl.
  4. Trim the zucchini or yellow squash, slice thinly or cut into half-moon slices, add to the bowl with the pasilla chili or bell pepper.
  5. Rinse the makrut lime leaves, remove the center rib and mince very finely, reserve in a small bowl.
  6. Pour the oil in a large, deep skillet over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili and sauté uncovered, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Add the yellow curry powder and sauté another minute until fragrant. 
  8. Add the pasilla chili/bell pepper and zucchini/squash to the pan, stir-frying until they soften a bit.
  9. Cut the tofu into bite-size pieces and reserve with the lime leaves.
  10. Add the coconut milk, tofu and lime leaves to the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it has really cooked down and thickened.
  11. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently; the shrimp will turn pink and release liquid as they cook, increasing the volume of the curry and deepening the flavor.
  12. Add the fish sauce and lemon juice to the curry and stir. Remove the curry from the heat, stir in the cilantro leaves and serve over rice or cauliflower rice or as is.


  • Makrut Lime Leaves are available fresh or fresh/frozen in bags in Asian specialty markets; never buy dried makrut lime leaves.  If unavailable, you can substitute the zest of 1 lime.
  • Use an East Asian/Japanese style yellow curry powder, not an Indian style curry powder, to get the correct flavor needed for this dish. S&B, in the yellow and red can, is my favorite, it is available in the Asian-foods section of most supermarkets or in Asian markets.
  • Extra Firm Tofu “cutlet” has a firm, light brown, lightly-wrinkled exterior, giving it a fried look and can be found along with other tofu products in the supermarket.
  • Use a good quality fish sauce; my favorite is Three Crabs brand for its really authentic flavor.

Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

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