Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood) is a delicious, full of flavour and easy to make seafood dish! Made using Jamaican curry powder and coconut milk infused with thyme, garlic, scotch bonnet and pimento flavours; this dish provides an irresistible taste and burst of island deliciousness with each bite! Enjoy as an appetizer or as part of a weeknight main course with fresh steamed rice. Recipe instructions includes step-by-step easy to follow recipe video!
Jamaican Coconut Curry Shrimp
If you don’t have an hour to spend cooking dinner, this recipe is definitely for you. If you’re a lover of seafood, this recipe is also for you! Curry shrimp is one of my favourite 30 minute meals to cook in the kitchen when wanting something traditional (my background is Jamaican), but also includes seafood!
Also, this recipe is great with all kinds like seafood not just shrimp. Try adding in scallops, mussels, crab, and lobster! Feel free to mix it up and add in your favourites!
Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood) Recipe Tips
This is another quick and easy recipe however, I always like to provide some tips and techniques as well as any variations that may be useful to you and the success of this dish!
Make It a Meal – Add in small-cut pieces of potatoes and carrots to turn this dish into a one-pot meal. Be sure to use small pieces as you don’t want to be waiting too long for the potatoes and carrots to cook through.
Taste – I find with making this dish, you may feel like it needs more salt here, a little more ketchup there or even a little more colour (less pale yellow, to vibrant yellow). If this is the case, add a touch more paprika or black pepper etc. You may also need more salt – but that’s always up to your preference!
Add in More Seafood – As I mentioned above, this dish works so well with all kinds of seafood like scallops, mussels, crab, and lobster! Ensure everything is evenly sized or added to the pot gradually to ensure proper cooking.
Don’t Overcook the Shrimp! – You don’t want your shrimp to become “tough and chewy”. Once they’re done, remove from the heat!
How to Make Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood) with Coconut Milk
- Season Shrimp – with garlic powder, curry powder, black pepper, salt and set aside
- Burn Curry & Saute Veggies – in a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium high heat and “burn”, or cook the curry. Add the julienned bell peppers and onion, and the minced garlic to the saucepan; then add sprig(s) of fresh thyme and scotch bonnet pepper or hot pepper sauce.
- Make the Sauce – stir in coconut milk and ketchup, then add paprika, salt and black pepper.
- Add Shrimp – to the saucepan and cook until they begin to turn pink.
- Thicken – combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl until dissolved and stir it into the sauce if needed to thicken.
- Remove from Heat & Enjoy!
Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood) Step-by-Step Recipe Video
What is Curry Powder?
Curry powder is a combination of a blend of dried spices often used in Indian cooking, however many cultures i.e. Asian, Caribbean use curry powder is a variety of dishes as well.
What is Jamaican Curry Powder Made Of?
Jamaican Curry Powder is a beautiful spice blend of turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, pimento, black pepper or pepper variety, star anise, garlic and sometimes salt.
What Curry Powder to Use in Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood)
Personally, I recommend using the Betapac Limited Curry Powder or the Montego Jamaican Style Mild or Spicy Curry Powder. Both provide a beautiful flavour and are great for seasoning not only shrimp but all seafood, and meats such as goat and chicken as well as vegetables and legumes such as chickpeas.
Where to find Betapac or Montego Curry Powder?
You can find the Betapac Curry or Montego Mild or Spicy Curry Powder at your local West Indian or Caribbean grocery store. If you do not have one of these in your neighbourhood, you can order online from a retailer that services your area.
Why do you Burn/Cook Curry Powder?
Burning the curry is a Caribbean saying and method where you “cook” the curry prior to adding it to the remainder of the dish being prepared. It is not necessary, however greatly advised. It helps to bring out the true deep flavour of the curry.
How to Burn/Cook Curry Powder?
Once the butter and oil is heated over medium-high heat, add curry powder and allow to cook for about a minute or so; stirring quickly to prevent burning too quickly.
Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood) – Original Recipe Photos
What Type of Shrimp to Buy
- Wild Caught Shrimp – look for medium or large wild caught shrimp as opposed to farm-raised for the best flavor and texture.
- Raw Deveined Shrimp – opt for raw (not precooked), peeled and deveined shrimp. This will save you loads of time, as the only prep you need is to defrost and season the shrimp.
- Frozen Shrimp – frozen shrimp is frozen shortly after it’s caught which means it’s frozen at peak freshness! It’s often more economical and quite easy to find. Also, shrimp behind the counter is typically frozen and thawed in most cases.
How Do I Defrost Shrimp?
Here are two options for how you can defrost shrimp:
- Refrigerate Overnight Method (Easy): one of the simplest ways to defrost shrimp is in your refrigerator overnight. Simply remove the desired amount of frozen shrimp, place in a covered bowl and let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cold Water Method (Quick): the quickest way to defrost shrimp is to add the desired amount of shrimp to a large enough bowl, then fill the bowl with cold tap water and let it sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, replace the water with new cold tap water and allow the shrimp to sit once again – repeat after 10 minutes if needed until fully thawed.
How Long Does Defrosted Shrimp Last in the Refrigerator?
After you have defrosted your shrimp, store them in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
Should You Devein Shrimp?
Deveining shrimp is when you remove the dark line you see on the backs of shrimp which is their digestive tract. Removing it is a matter of personal preference and choice as it is not harmful to ingest. However, it can have an unappealing look and taste (adds a gritty/sandy texture).
What’s the Easiest Way to Peel and Devein Shrimp?
It is highly recommended that you purchase shrimp that is already peeled and deveined. However, in the event that you purchase shrimp that is not, follow these simple steps to get the job done:
- Pull Off Head and Legs – if applicable, pull off the head and the legs.
- Remove Shell – . remove, starting on the head end, the outer shell leaving the tail attached if desired.
- Remove and Discard Vein – locate the vein in the shrimp running along its back (also underneath – however this is optional) and make a shallow cut about 1/4 inch deep and use the tip of the knife to lift it out and discard.
- Rinse & Rest – rinse the shrimp and lay on a paper towel to dry until ready to use.
TSS Good to Know – larger shrimp often have grittier veins, which can have an unappealing texture and look.
Should I Cook Shrimp with Tail On or Off?
You can cook shrimp with the tail on or off, depending on your personal preference. However, much like meat bones, the shell and tail of the shrimp contain much flavour which adds to the overall taste of the dish.
How to Know When Shrimp is Done Cooking?
Shrimp like most seafood cook fairly fast around 2-3 minutes per side, as opposed to other kinds of protein. There are two visual cues you can use to ensure you don’t overcook your shrimp – colour and shape.
Colour – when done, shrimp turn pink and opaque in colour with some pink and bright red accents as opposed to their translucent gray raw state. Remove the shrimp from the heat source once it is fully opaque without any gray left.
Shape – as shrimp cook, their muscle contract which cause them to curl this is the second indicator of doneness. Often it is said that perfectly cooked shrimp have “C” shape while over cooked shrimp have an “O” shape. However, most shrimp unless using jumbo shrimp can be perfectly cooked with a “C” shrimp as well. Once your shrimp begin to curl, they are usually done cooking.
See My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions!
Grab the Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood) Grocery List (Screenshot The Recipe Ingredients Below)!
- Raw Shrimp
- Garlic Powder
- Curry Powder – Betapac Limited Curry Powder or the Montego Jamaican Style Mild or Spicy Curry Powder recommended
- Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Green Bell Pepper
- Red Bell Pepper
- Yellow (Cooking) Onion or Escallion (Green Onion)
- Fresh Thyme
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper or Hot Pepper Sauce
- Coconut Milk
What to Serve with Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood)
Serve this Coconut Curry Shrimp dish with the following side dishes for the ultimate feast:
- Fresh Steamed White Rice
- Jamaican Pigeon “Gungo” Peas and Rice
- Jamaican Rice and Peas
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roti or Paratha
- Quinoa or Couscous
- Steamed Vegetables
Other Seafood Recipes You’ll Enjoy!
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Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood)
- 1 lb Raw Shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tsp Curry Powder Betapac or Montego Brand Curry recommended
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Jamaican Curry Shrimp
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Curry Powder Betapac or Montego brand Curry recommended
- 1/2 Green Bell Pepper medium, julienned
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper medium, julienned
- 1 Onion small, julienned or 2 Stalks Escallion (Green Onion), crushed
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1-2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper or 1 tsp of Hot Pepper Sauce
- 1 400ml Can Coconut Milk
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Salt or more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
To Thicken Sauce
- 3 tsp Cornstarch
- 3 tsp Cold Water
- Season shrimp with garlic powder, curry powder, black pepper, salt and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium high heat and “burn”, or cook the curry (1 tbsp) for about 2 minutes – see notes section. Add the julienned bell peppers and onion, and the minced garlic to the saucepan. Saute until the veggies have softened slightly; then add sprig(s) of fresh thyme and scotch bonnet pepper or hot pepper sauce.
- Stir in coconut milk and ketchup until combined. Then add paprika, salt and black pepper, stirring occasionally for approx. 5 minutes. Add shrimp to the saucepan and cook until they begin to turn pink.
- Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl until dissolved and stir it into the sauce if needed to thicken. Continue to let simmer while stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken. Add more salt/pepper as desired and remove the scotch bonnet pepper. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, remove from the stove, serve while hot and enjoy!