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This quick and easy prawn curry is perfect for a weeknight meal. Based on a traditional Burmese recipe, it features a creamy sauce thanks to the addition of coconut.

From the book

Amy & Emily Chung


This is a firm favourite in our family, often made by Mum. It is fairly quick to cook once the curry base has been made – and this can be prepared in advance quite easily – and if you have a bag of prawns in the freezer it is a handy last-minute fix. Burmese curries don’t traditionally contain coconut but this is Mum’s special addition to the recipe and we think it adds extra depth and an almost nutty flavour. It is still delicious if you skip this, though.

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6 tbsp oil (vegetable, sunflower or peanut)
3 medium onions, chopped
10 garlic cloves, peeled
½ thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
½ bunch of coriander stalks, finely chopped, plus some leaves to garnish
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp medium chilli powder
50g creamed coconut (use the solid block type, or 50ml coconut milk would work too)
2–3 tbsp fish sauce
600g large, raw king prawns, peeled and deveined


Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or wok set over a mediumhigh heat. Add the chopped onions and cook slowly, turning down the heat to low-medium, and stirring every 4–5 minutes until softened and starting to colour lightly and become oily – this will take at least 15 minutes (see cooking onions, page 102). While the onions are cooking, crush the garlic cloves and ginger to a paste using a pestle and mortar, or blitz in a food processor.

Once the onions are ready, add the crushed garlic, ginger and coriander stalks and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the spices and creamed coconut, breaking it up into smaller pieces as you stir. It should melt in. Finally, add the fish sauce and the prawns and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the prawns are cooked through.

Serve hot on steamed rice and garnish with coriander leaves.

Storage notes: We don’t find the prawns reheat very well once cooked in the curry, but you could cook the sauce up until adding the prawns, then store in the fridge for up to 4 days, then just reheat and continue from adding the prawns.

Cooks note: Sometimes we use whole, shell-on prawns which look visually appealing and will make the curry more flavourful (we like to suck the heads!). Just increase the total weight to 800g–1kg to allow for the heads and shells.


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From the book: The Rangoon Sisters: Recipes from our Burmese family kitchen

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