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This pleasing curry goes together in a few minutes’ time. Follow this as a guideline for making a curry with seafood or fish and any curry paste you like. The base for gaeng kua is a red curry paste made without the roasted cumin, coriander, and other spices ground into the standard red curry paste. Wild lime leaves are traditional, but if you cannot find them, you will still have a wonderful dish. Fresh pineapple is lovely, but canned pineapple works fine, too. With jasmine rice, nests of thin rice noodles or angel hair pasta, and a green salad, this makes an elegant little meal.
In a medium skillet or saucepan, heat ½ cup of the coconut milk over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thickened and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the curry paste and cook a minute or two, pressing and stirring to dissolve it.
Stir in remaining 1 cup coconut milk, the water, fish sauce, sugar, pineapple, and lime leaves (if using), and bring to a gentle boil.
Add the shrimp and basil leaves and cook another minute or two, just until shrimp are pink and cooked through.
Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with fresh basil sprigs, and serve hot or warm.
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