When It's Okay to Use Canned
I do not like canned pineapple. Generally I find them flavourless. So when I want pineapple, I will usually spend the time to cut up a whole one. However, I ended up with canned pineapple out of panic (see video intro for the story!), so I had to come up with a way to use it in a way that will still be delicious.
Then it occurred to me that a pineapple curry is the best place for it, because the flavour of the curry is so strong that the pineapple does not need to be perfect for it to end up as a delicious dish!
The Most Important Step: Squeeze the Pineapple!
The one step that might be surprising, but is SO important, is for you to squeeze the pineapple pieces (whether you use fresh or canned). This is a key step that will "de-saturate" the pineapple pieces from their juice, making room for curry sauce to penetrate and mingle so that it doesn't feel like you're eating a curry and then suddenly interrupted by a bite of pineapple! This is key to creating a "cohesive" flavour in the dish. I believe one reason that many people dislike pineapple in savoury dishes is because it doesn't feel like the sweet-tart pineapple belongs in the otherwise savoury food.
More Easy Thai Curry Recipes
This is a curry I consider weeknight-friendly because it's so fast and easy, with very minimal chopping since the pineapple comes pre-cut. And if you're into "quick" also check out how to make panang curry because that is another really quick and easy curry, with no pesky vegetables to chop, and it's incredibly delicious!
If you're an Instant Pot user, try this Instant Pot Massaman Curry that makes a weeknight meal out of something that would normally take many hours!
For something unusual? Into food mashups? You've got to try these epic red curry tacos. The flavours coming from them is INCREDIBLE, and you can even make it without going to the Asian grocery store!
Watch The Full Video Tutorial!
All my recipes come with step-by-step video tutorials with extra tips not mentioned in the blog post, so make sure you watch the video to ensure success! And if you enjoy the show, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. Thank you!
Thai Pineapple Curry with Shrimp
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1 can pineapple chunks, packed in juice NOT in syrup (or about 1¾ cups fresh pineapple)
- 4-5 Tbsp red curry paste (or to taste)
- 1½ cups coconut milk
- ½ cup water or unsalted chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp dried shrimp (optional), finely chopped or ground into a fluff in a coffee grinder
- 7-8 makrut lime leaves (kaffir lime)
- 1-2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2-3 tsp chopped palm sugar (or brown or white sugar)
- About 1 Tbsp cooking tamarind (what is tamarind and how to make it?)
- Half a red bell pepper, julienned
- 350g medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Jasmine rice for serving
- Drain pineapple from the juice and place the chunks in a mixing bowl. (You can discard the juice or mix it with some soda water for a sparkling treat!)
- Take 2-3 pieces of pineapple at a time in your hand and squeeze the juice out of them. Do not drain this juice; just leave it in the bowl. Do this for all the pineapple pieces; you want the pineapple to give up the juice so they can absorb the curry sauce.
- In a medium pot, bring ½ cup coconut milk to a boil over medium heat, then add red curry paste and stir to mix with the coconut milk. Reduce the heat to medium low and keep cooking, stirring frequently, until the paste is very thick and you may start to see coconut oil separating out of the paste. Once the oil has started to appear, keep stirring the paste for a few more minutes, deglazing with a little bit of coconut milk if it's sticking too much to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the rest of the coconut milk, pineapple and the juice you squeezed out, dried shrimp, and ½ cup of water or stock. Tear up makrut lime leaves into big chunks, twisting as you tear to bruise the leaves and allow the aromatic oils to come out, and add them to the pot. Simmer on medium low heat for at least 5 minutes to allow flavours to mingle.
- Add fish sauce, sugar, and tamarind to taste; how much you need will depend on the flavour of the pineapple, so add less and then taste and adjust as needed. You want the curry sauce to have just a little bit of sweetness and tartness to match the pineapple.
- Add bell peppers and cook for 1 minute.
- Add shrimp and cook for 1 minute or just until fully cooked, then remove from heat.
- Taste and adjust final seasoning (pro tip: you can never taste too many times when you cook!) and serve with jasmine rice. Enjoy!
I live in Thailand, so ingredients are easy. I've made this a few times by taste, no recipe. However I found this recipe to use as a guide as I was cooking for Thai people and thought my own version might not be right. I used cherry tomatoes (whole) additionally and substituted roast duck for the shrimp. It's pretty much the same ingredients I'd been using anyway but the cooking order was very different. I've always used tamarind pulp (deveined) in boiling water and mash it with a potato masher. Anyway, it wasn't noticeably different to my own version. Good enough for Thais. They took the leftovers home 😁
What is your recommended canned curry paste?
Maeploy, maesri, Aroy-D are all good
BEST RECIPE EVER!!!!
I don’t have tamarind paste; but I have the pad thai sauce I made using tamarind pulp, palm sugar & fish sauce. Can I use a few dollops of that instead of adding the sugar, fish sauce and tamarind separately?
Made with fresh pineapple. Delicious!
Delicious simple curry! Great for weeknights.
My 2nd try with making Thai food at home: winner! We won't discuss the 1st one. I was nervous about the pineapple but it did take on the sauce flavors (as promised) and the dish wasn't too sweet as I feared it might be. I brought it to a potluck and received loads of kudos.
The video, the recipe, the ingredient info, the great attitude, the clear descriptions, the asides about intermediate steps in instructions (esp. pad Thai sauce) all make cooking with HTK into a fun and successful experience. Thanks!
PS Since making this dish I've tried the BEST Pad Thai and the Quick Cucumber Pickle. They were successful, too. Next: Pork Satay and more of those delicious cucumbers!
This recipe quickly became our favorite for weeknight meals! We live far from the ocean, so instead of shrimp we added baked tofu which soaked up the sauce and tasted great!
Delicious! I used fresh pineapple, and fortunately, had all of the ingredients. I’ll be making this again.
Great curry and an excellent balance of flavors. I love what tamarind does for this dish, a perfect note of sourness to offset the pineapple.
This is wonderful, did not have kafir lime leaves so I grated in some.lime and did use some basil also used fresh pineapple thank you
Can this be made in advance or does it need to be served right away?
I made this tonight. Preparing the curry ahead would work, but don’t add the shrimp. Add them to the reheated curry when you’re ready to eat. I had leftovers and took the shrimp that wouldn’t be eaten out of the hot curry so they wouldn’t overcook. I’ll do the same when I reheat - adding the shrimp at the very end.
Thanks for sharing this recipe.
We made this for dinner and it was a hit!!!
We used twice the amount of the shrimps & substituted red bell peppers with cherry tomatoes.
We polished everything off. 😁👍
I Madde it with fresh pineaple and it was very nice, everyone likes it!
Very tasty, it became one of our favourite curries. Once I substituted the shrims with oister mushrooms (and added a a bit more dry shrimps), worked very well. Thank you.
I have made this pineapple shrimp curry but hubby doesn’t like shrimp so I make it with sliced chicken breast and shrimp. He gets the chicken and I get the shrimp. Delicious for both of us. Thank you.