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Related Ingredients

Tasting Notes

As a general rule, ingredients that grow together go together and this spicy, creamy, luxurious coconut curry sauce perfectly illustrates that point.

Sweet coconuts, tart limes, fresh lemongrass, spicy curry paste and citrusy kaffir lime leaves all come from the same part of the world and their flavors all complement one another. Coconut milk is rich without being oily and it balances the sweetness, spice and acidity of its accompaniments while still letting their flavors through. To get the most concentrated lobster flavor we use the heads and the bodies to make this deeply flavorful sauce.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Beat bitterness. Before you begin making the sauce, remove the innards from the lobster bodies and rinse the usable parts well. Any residue could turn bitter during the cooking process. On the same note, use a wet pastry brush to wipe down any sauce that splatters on the side of your pan — burnt splatters can contribute to bitterness, too.
  2. Take it slow. A slow simmer will result in the best tasting sauce.  If you boil the coconut curry sauce, it will reduce before the flavor has been fully developed.
  3. Troubleshooting for taste. Test your finished sauce and adjust it as follows: If it’s too thin, let it simmer a little longer. If it’s too thick or too spicy, add a touch more coconut milk. If it’s not spicy enough, stir in an extra chili. If it needs salt, add a little extra fish sauce or a pinch of sea salt. If it lacks acidity, add a squeeze of lime.


These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Chinois. These fine mesh strainers are slightly more expensive than regular strainers, but the fine mesh pulls even the smallest particles out of the sauce, leaving the cleanest, smoothest texture at the end.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Large saucepan

Wooden spoon

Rubber spatula

Fine mesh strainer or chinois over a large bowl

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • ⅓ cup lemongrass, shaved finely or finely sliced
  • 3 Thai chiles, each split in half
  • 1/3 cup ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, peeled, sliced finely
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 5 cups coconut milk
  • 4 lobster bodies, cut into pieces
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 5 stems of Thai basil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of fish sauce

Serves: 4

Total Time: 55 minutes

Active Time: 15 minutes

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Sweat the Thai chiles, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and season slightly. Now add red Thai curry paste. Add the lobster bodies and empty shells and the coconut milk to the saucepan. As soon as the coconut milk comes to a boil, bring the heat down and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes. The sauce should have reduced to about 3 cups by this point. Continue to simmer if it has not reduced this far.
  2. After the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, add the honey, lime juice, fish sauce, Thai basil and kaffir lime leaves. Let these flavors steep for 10 minutes and then turn the burner off.
  3. Pass the sauce through a fine-meshed strainer into a medium bowl in order to catch the lobster shells and aromatics. Discard contents of strainer and allow the sauce to cool. Flavors will continue to blend together as sauce cools.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Poached coconut curry tilapia with rice & vegetables

You don’t have to go somewhere warm for this tropical dish. Cut filets of tilapia into 1-inch chunks. Poach in the coconut curry sauce and serve with steamed vegetables and rice.