Saigon Prawn Curry w-Basil

Saigon Prawn Curry w-Basil

There are many variations of this delicious coconut milk-based curry all over Southeast Asia. Because there is a strong Indian influence in the culinary of southern Vietnam, this variation uses Indian curry powder.

Recipe for Saigon Prawn Curry w/Basil
Ingredients for Saigon Prawn Curry w/Basil:

  • 30 g fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 2 fresh red or green chillies, stalk and seeds removed and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 475 ml unsweetened coconut milk
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • salt to taste
  • 900 g prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 1 tomato, seeded, sliced
  • small bunch basil leaves
  • small bunch coriander, finely chopped


  1. Using a pestle and mortar, pound ginger with garlic until it almost resembles a paste.
  2. Heat oil in a traditional clay pot, wok or heavy pot and stir in onion. Cook until it begins to turn brown, then stir in garlic-ginger paste.
  3. Once aromas begin to lift from pot, add lemongrass, chillies and sugar. Cook for 1-2 minutes, before adding shrimp paste, fish sauce and curry powder.
  4. Stir well and allow flavours to mingle and fuse over the heat for a minute or two before adding coconut milk, lime juice and zest.
  5. Mix well and bring liquid to the boil for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Gently stir in prawns and bring liquid to the boil once more.
  7. Reduce heat and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until prawns turns opaque.
  8. Toss in basil leaves and sprinkle coriander over top. Serve immediately from pot with chunks of crusty bread to mop up sauce.

Recipe Credit – 500 Asian Dishes by Ghillie Basan

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One thought on “Saigon Prawn Curry w-Basil”