HOT WOK OFFER. 2 x free cookbooks with every wok purchase. Limited time only. SHOP NOW →

HOT WOK OFFER. 2 x free cookbooks with every wok purchase. Limited time only. SHOP NOW →

Southern Thai Yellow Crab Curry

When I left Thailand and moved to Australia, this was the dish I missed the most. It’s an absolute stunner of a curry, but some ingredients were hard to source. Luckily for you, I’ve found all the substitutions to rustle up a comforting batch from your very own kitchen.


Southern Thai Yellow Crab Curry

15 minutes
15 minutes

1 tbsp vegetable oil 

1 x 400ml can coconut milk 

2 tbsp fish sauce 

1 tbsp palm sugar 

300g (10.5 oz) crab meat 

1 cup betel leaves, Thai basil leaves or Italian basil leaves* 

cooked vermicelli noodles, to serve 


Curry paste 

15 dried birds’ eye chillies 

2 coriander (cilantro) roots 

2 stalks lemongrass 

4cm (1.5in) piece galangal, peeled and roughly chopped 

4cm (1.5in) piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 

3 garlic cloves 

2 small red Asian shallots, roughly chopped 

2 makrut lime leaves, destemmed and roughly chopped 

1 tsp shrimp paste 

1 tsp ground cumin 

1 tsp ground coriander 

1 tsp sea salt 

1 tsp turmeric 

  • Step 1

    For the curry paste, soak the chillies in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain (reserve the soaking liquid) and place the chillies into the bowl of a food processor. Add all the remaining curry paste ingredients except the turmeric. Blend until smooth (add 1-2 tablespoons of the chilli soaking liquid if necessary to get a smooth blend). Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir through the turmeric. 

  • Step 2

    Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add half the curry paste (keep the other half in the freezer to use another time). Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes to allow the aromatics to soften and mellow. Then add the coconut milk, ½ cup water, fish sauce and palm sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes to allow the palm sugar to dissolve. Stir through the crab meat and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more fish sauce and/or palm sugar if needed. Stir through the betel or basil leaves. 

  • Step 3

    Serve alongside vermicelli noodles. 

  • Notes

    – Traditionally it’s customary to use betel leaves but I often use Thai basil or even Italian basil to get a similar herbaceous flavour. 

    -Frozen curry paste will last up to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight before using. 

    -Use less curry paste for a milder curry. 

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Very good0%
June 7, 2023

Craving Satisfied!!!

I went to One Chun Cafe & Restaurant (Michelin-starred) in Phuket Old Town and had this beautiful Crab Curry with Rice Noodles that I was craving really badly. So much so that I was almost planning another trip to Phuket just to eat that.

I decided to search for restaurants in Singapore that might serve the dish, to no avail. As a desperate measure, I decided to cook it myself and found this recipe. It was the first one I found and didn’t really expect much but it blew my mind. It was soooooo good I ate it all. The whole recipe of it hahaha.

It’s such a gem, thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

December 19, 2022

This is amazing

So close to the actual Thai curry – you will be blown away

June 30, 2022


I need 8 servings. Would I use all the curry paste and double the other ingredients that are added to the curry paste??

Response from Marion's Kitchen

Absolutely spot on – you got it! All the curry paste, and double the remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

Leave your rating and review