Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry (with Red Curry Paste)

A bowl of thai red shrimp curry with cans of coconut milk and red curry paste in the background

Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry (with Red Curry Paste) A quick weeknight curry using Thai red curry paste and extra jumbo shrimp.

I’ve worried that cooking shrimp in an Instant Pot is asking for trouble (and overcooked, rubbery shrimp). But, when I saw the Indian shrimp curry in Chandra Ram’s The Complete Indian Instant Pot Cookbook, I had to give it a try with my Thai curry technique.

A bowl of thai red shrimp curry with cans of coconut milk and red curry paste in the background
Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry (with Red Curry Paste)
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This recipe uses the same basic technique as my other Instant Pot Thai curries, like my Instant Pot Thai Red Beef Curry, Instant Pot Thai Green Chicken Curry, or Instant Pot Massaman Chicken Curry. The only difference is the cooking time; I’m cutting it way back because I don’t want to overcook the shrimp.


  • Vegetable oil
  • Onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Coconut Milk
  • Thai Red Curry Paste
  • U15 or 16/20 raw shrimp
  • Fine sea salt
  • Sliced bamboo shoots
  • Fish sauce (plus more to taste)
  • Soy sauce (plus more to taste)
  • Lime

See the recipe card for quantities.

🥘 Substitutions

Thai curry pastes come with all the unique Thai ingredients in one can. My favorite Thai red curry paste has this ingredient list: Chili pepper, garlic, shallot, salt, lemongrass, sugar, kaffir lime, galangal, coriander seeds, cumin, cardamom. Now, sure, I could buy all those ingredients and grind them up to make my own curry paste. But that’s a lot of special ingredients that I don’t use, which will probably sit in my pantry. Thai curry pastes are high quality and an easy shortcut.

Different Thai Curry Pastes: I like red curry paste with this recipe, but you can use any Thai curry paste you want. Green, yellow, Panang, massaman – choose your favorite (or what you have in your pantry.)

Coconut milk: make sure to get unsweetened coconut milk. Cream of coconut is sweetened and meant for tropical drinks, not cooking.

Sliced bamboo shoots are optional, but I like the hint of crunch they give the curry.

Shrimp: We need big shrimp, 16-20 per pound or larger. Smaller shrimp will overcook in the pressure cooker.

Fish sauce and soy sauce: Fish sauce has a strong smell that some people don’t like. (It took my kids years to be OK with fish sauce.) If you are cooking for picky eaters, replace the Fish sauce with more soy sauce.

How to make Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry

  1. Sauté the aromatics and toast the spice paste: Sauté the onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and ginger until the onion starts to soften, then stir in the curry paste and let it toast for a minute
  2. Everything in the pot: Stir in the shrimp, making sure they are coated with the curry paste, then stir in the coconut milk, bamboo shoots, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
  3. Pressure cook for 5 minutes with a quick release: Lock the lid on the cooker and pressure cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release the pressure in the pot.
  4. Season and serve: Stir in the lime juice and serve over jasmine rice, topped with minced cilantro and basil.

🛠 Equipment

A 6-quart pressure cooker.


This recipe doubles easily in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Cut all the ingredients in half, and this recipe will fit in a 3-quart pressure cooker. The cooking time does not change; it takes the same time to cook each shrimp, no matter how many are in the pot.

☃️ Storage

This curry will keep in 2-cup storage containers for a few days in the refrigerator and a few months in the freezer. I don’t leave it longer because shrimp (like most seafood) start to go bad quickly.

💡Tips and Tricks

  • Pressure Cooking Shrimp: Shrimp are tricky to pressure cook. Shrimp is very lean, so big shrimp make sure we don’t overcook it. The key is buying big shrimp. (Yes, I know that’s an oxymoron.)
  • Shrimp are measured by “count per pound” sizing. We want 16/20 shrimp (16 to 20 per pound) or larger. Larger is U15 (15 or less per pound), sometimes called 13/15 or 8/12 shrimp. If you can’t get count per pound sizing, shrimp size names are a little loose. 16/20 is usually “Extra Jumbo” shrimp, or sometimes “Jumbo” shrimp. U15 will be “Colossal” or “Super Colossal.” Shrimp size names are amazing…but look for the count per pound to be sure.
  • Thawing frozen shrimp: I thaw my shrimp in a bowl under cold running water for about 20 minutes. Easy peel shrimp makes this a recipe I can make on a weeknight, from freezer to table in about an hour. (It doesn’t hurt that we’re using big shrimp, so there aren’t as many shells to peel before cooking.)

What to Serve with Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry

Serve this recipe with jasmine rice, either white rice or my Instant Pot Jasmine Brown Rice recipe. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, some Instant Pot Boba Tea.



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A bowl of thai red shrimp curry with cans of coconut milk and red curry paste in the background

Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry (with Red Curry Paste)

  • Author:
    Mike Vrobel

  • Total Time:
    40 minutes

  • Yield:
    8 servings of curry 1x


Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry (with Red Curry Paste). A quick weeknight curry using Thai red curry paste and extra jumbo shrimp.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into ½-inch wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, stemmed, and cut into ½-inch strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ inch piece of ginger, peeled and crushed
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup Thai red curry paste (2 ounces)
  • 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk
  • 2 pounds U15 or 16/20 Raw Shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8-ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Accompaniments
  • Jasmine rice
  • Minced cilantro
  • Minced basil (preferably Thai basil)
  • Lime wedges


  1. Sauté the aromatics: Heat the vegetable oil in an Instant Pot set to sauté mode (medium-high heat in stovetop pressure cookers) until the oil is shimmering. Stir in the onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and ginger. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, then sauté until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Stir the curry paste into the pot and cook for one minute, until it releases its flavor.
  2. Everything in the pot: Sprinkle the shrimp with the fine sea salt, then stir it into the pot, and keep stirring until the shrimp are coated with curry paste. Stir in the can of coconut milk, bamboo shoots, fish sauce, and soy sauce. 
  3. Pressure cook for 5 minutes with a Quick Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes for both electric and stovetop PCs (use “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” mode in an Instant Pot). Quick release the pressure.
  4. Season the curry and serve: Remove the lid from the pressure cooker. Stir in the lime juice. Ladle the curry into bowls, sprinkle with minced cilantro and basil, and serve with jasmine rice. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: Instant Pot Thai Shrimp Curry (with Red Curry Paste), Pressure Cooker Thai Shrimp Curry (with Red Curry Paste)

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My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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