Thai Crab Curry

Thai crab curry recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
276 Calories
17g Fat
18g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 276
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 669mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 22mg 108%
Calcium 136mg 10%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 692mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Thai crab curry recipe is a fragrant, flavorful way to celebrate Dungeness or blue crabs. It requires a few unusual ingredients, but they can easily be found in an Asian market. The one thing you cannot substitute or omit, however, is coconut milk (not to be confused with cream of coconut).

Serve this curry with white rice.


  • 2 to 8 chile peppers, such as serrano or Thai, chopped

  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, or galangal, grated

  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 5 shallots, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons lime zest

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white parts only, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste, optional

  • 2 cups coconut milk, not cream of coconut

  • 1 pound crabmeat

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3 to 4 lemon or lime leaves, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Thai crab curry
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Add the chile peppers, ginger or galangal, garlic, shallots, ground coriander, lime zest, lemongrass, salt, and optional shrimp paste and pound it into a paste with a mortar and pestle—you also can buzz it in a food processor, but it will not be quite the same.

    Add spices and herbs
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. In a large pot or wok, over medium-high heat, simmer the coconut milk for 5 to 6 minutes.

    Simmer coconut milk
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Add the mixture from the mortar and stir it into the coconut milk, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil hard, but a simmer is okay.

    Add herbs to coconut milk
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Add the crab, optional fish sauce, sugar, and optional lemon or lime leaves and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the leaves begin to give off their aroma and the crab is warmed through. Add the black pepper.

    Add crab
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Serve over white rice and top with the chopped cilantro.

    Serve over white rice
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga