This recipe for king prawn and tomato curry is typical of Burmeses curries in that it's simple, delicate and soft in flavour. Chef Luke Nguyen prefers to keep the heads on the prawns during cooking because of the added flavour they give. Remember to just cook the prawns and that they'll continue to cook once you've removed the pan from the heat.




Skill level

Average: 4 (57 votes)


  • 6 large king prawns, deveined, head and tail intact
  • 5 red shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 cm ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 3 dried chillies, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, chopped
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • sawtooth and Asian coriander, to garnish


  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp fish sauce

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 10 minutes

Place the prawns in a bowl. Add the turmeric, salt and fish sauce. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.  

In a mortar and pestle, pound the shallots, garlic, ginger and chilli to a fine paste.

Heat peanut oil in a wok or saucepan. Add the paste and turmeric powder. Sauté over low heat for 15 minutes until slightly caramelised. Add the chilli paste. Cook for a further 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and a dash of water. Cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Add the marinated prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning once.
Garnish with the coriander to serve.