Categorized | All Recipes, Savory

Thai Curry Shrimp- Lucy Waverman Style

Posted on 05 January 2010 by Mădălina

I used to watch Lucy Waverman on CityLine as a child. I think I must have been CityLine’s youngest viewer—I mean, what other 11 year old runs home from school to catch the last half hour of the show.

I never did mind that I only got to see the last half hour of the show; in my opinion, it was the best part. All the recipes, craft projects, and make-overs came together in the end. When I got the opportunity to review a few cookbooks, I immediately radiated towards Lucy’s book. Finally, a chance to try recipes from someone I watched and admired growing up. I really took to the concept of the book, which premised around spending an entire year in Lucy’s kitchen. The book is divided into 12 parts with recipes divided by month to suit seasonal flavors. For example, in the month of January, Lucy focuses on pasta’s and marmalades with recipes that call for a foodie with a New Year’s resolution to shed some of the holiday pounds. She calls this part ‘Cuisine of the Lean’ and lists a series of soups, salads, and low fat desserts.

The book moves through the months offering recipes that suit the produce in season. March is hinted by maple syrup; June is all about barbeques; September marks summer’s end; and coming full circle, December is about decadent meals with a twist.

The general problems I have with cookbooks is that often, even though I follow a recipe to a (capital) T, they never quite work out. I really wish that I had read the precursor to this book, Lucy’s Kitchen, where she introduces cooking techniques, because it might of come in handy when executing some of these recipes.

Now for the challenge…

In the introduction, Lucy alludes to the changing economy, and the need for creating budget friendly meals. In addition, simplicity is a key theme throughout. It is ineffective to review a cookbook without actually testing recipes, and I decided to do this by critiquing three particular criterias: cost effectiveness, simplicity, and taste. Cost effectiveness is generally how affordable the meal is after buying all the ingredients necessary, with the exception of a few things such as oil, salt and pepper. Simplicity will be graded on how difficult the recipe is —including a discussion of the ingredient list. Finally, the taste; and although this is generally a subjective criteria, I will do my best to be as ‘objective’ as possible (we’ll see how this goes).

For future reference, it is a completely bad idea to flip through a cook book on an empty stomach—I wanted to make everything in the book at the same time. I decided to make Thai Shrimp Curry (p.64), partially because I’ve never cooked Thai food, and also, because it only had two steps.

I had almost none of the ingredients required for the recipe in my pantry, so this recipe cost me $35.85 ($0.15 for three plastic bags). On a student budget, I think this is quite a bit, but it does serve 4-6 people.

Although the ingredient list is quite extensive, to my surprise, the directions were simple to follow. Prep took me about 15 minutes, and from start to finish, it took about 45 minutes. I was skeptical half way through that my sauce wasn’t thickening, and that the flavour wasn’t to my liking, but it all came together in the end. Ideally, I would serve this over steamed rice, but I forgot to buy some at the store. It tasted delicious over plain Cantonese noodles though.

The recipes in the book come from all corners of the world. There are a lot of Asian-inspired recipes throughout the book, which I like, because it forced me out of my cooking comfort zone. I love to dine out at Asian restaurants, but this was my first attempt at a home cooked meal. Another highpoint of the book are the photographs–they felt raw and unpretentious. I do wish that more recipes were accompanied by photographs, and for this reason, I might not have purchased this book. Personally, I find it uninspiring to try a recipe if there are no pictures.

In sum, the book wins points on creative fusion recipes, but lacks in providing an adequate number of photographs to accompany them. If you want recipes that are comfortable, and easy to cook, you will enjoy this book. However, if you are one of those people that need to see a picture to know what you’re cooking, you might want to steer clear.

Results (out of *****)

Cost effectiveness: * (Given that I didn’t have many of the ingredients needed for the recipe, I found it quite cost-ineffective. $8.96 per portion is too pricey in my books)

Simplicity: *****(From start to finish, this recipe took about 45 minutes, with little to no culinary skill required… if you can dice an onion, you can prep this recipe)

Taste: ****(Turned out a lot better than expected, but not perfect enough to receive full points)

Thai Shrimp Curry from A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen—Lucy Waverman (p. 64)
[Serves 4]

- 1 14-oz (400mL) can coconut milk

- 1 to 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste

- 1 cup chopped red onions

- 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes

- 2 tbsp fish sauce

- 1 tsp grated lime rind

- 1 tsp granulated sugar

- 4 – inch piece lemongrass, smashed

- 1 lb (250 g) large shrimp, peeled

- 2 cups baby spinach

- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

- 2 tbsp lime juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Place coconut milk in a large skillet along with curry paste, red onions, tomatoes, fish sauce, lime rind, sugar and lemongrass. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until thickened. Remove lemongrass.

2. Stir in shrimp and spinach. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and curled. Stir in basil, coriander and lime jice. Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper, or lime juice as needed.

Recipe taken from “A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen” by Lucy Waverman (Random House Canada: 2009 p.64)

Credit: Waverman, Lucy. A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen. Toronto, ON: Random House Canada, 2009. Print.ISBN:978-0-679-31458-5 (0-679-31458-X)


19 Comments For This Post

  1. Jennifer K Says:



  2. Nadine Says:

    I also love recipes with photos.

    Least favorite ingredient is definitely Rosemary. Ick.

  3. thisismarriedbliss Says:

    My least favourite ingredient to cook with is…mushrooms…to me they tast like RUBBER!! YUCK!!

  4. Chocolate Freckles Says:

    I hate cooking with pomegranate, I only use it in very special occasions on salads, but I don't seem to get the right way of opening it!! I always get dirty and get stains all over my clothes!

  5. steetoa Says:

    My least favorite ingredient to cook with is pretty much any kind of raw meat (though I'm not necessarily vegetarian). Fish would top the list. I just don't like handling it. :(

    The thai recipe looks yummy! We were in Thailand last fall and were surprised to see that the food we tried there (from street stalls to pricier restaurants) tasted pretty much like Thai food we've had in the States, albeit a little spicier.

  6. Bekki Says:

    I really don't like working with hard squash. I can't ever cut it right & get it to cook right. :(

  7. Anonymous Says:

    nice post. thanks.

  8. Denver Says:

    I hate cooking with garlic… I love the flavour, but I always manage to burn it, and then it tastes bitter. YUCK.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    This recipe seems simple enough. I hate cooking with CILANTRO. YUCK.

  10. Joel Solish is foodie411 Says:

    I love this recipe and your pictures are great! Really enjoy reading your posts, keep it up!

  11. Jessica Says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. I keep coming back to your site.I just love it.
    I hate cooking with beef; I never get the proper temparature/time for it therefore always turns chewy.:-(

  12. Tiptilush Says:

    One of the ingredients I really dont like is ginger.
    I dont like to cook tongue, it's so icky to peel off the skin:-)

    I have no problem coocking beaded brain..:p)))

  13. mădălina Says:

    Jennifer- I agree, tripe is off-putting for me as well… especially the smell

    Nadine- I'll be honest, I've never actually cooked with rosemary, but I do like the smell of it

    thisismarriedbliss- mushrooms are actually one of my favorite… but I can see why the texture is a problem

    Chocolate Freckles- ironically enough my first EVER blog post was on how to peel pomegranates… they are tricky

    steetoa- I especially hate things like whole chickens… i just feel awful.

    Bekki- same problem I have with sweet potatoes.ugh.

    Anon- thanks:)

    Denver- I used garlic for a recipe a couple of days and my hand still smells.. yuck

    Anon- cilantro is just one of those acquired tastes… I agree

    Joel- i guess you don't have a least favorite.. good for you ;)

    Jessica- chewiness is usually an issue..sorry i have no suggestions, im not a pro with red meat

    Tiptilush- breaded brain is okay, but not ginger? interesting:)

  14. KatelynAli Says:

    I hate asparagus!! I NEVER KNOW HOW TO COOK IT!!!

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  17. Edmund Oberlander Says:

    Thanks, really interesting. Actually,I was born in Thailand in 1973 but my mother and I fled and settled here to Britain. Honestly, I didnt care much about my Thai heritage until my mother died last month, now I’ve been trying to find out as much as I possibly can. Seemed like food was as good a place as any to start from! Anyway, I found a thai food recipe site here that other readers might be interested in .

  18. Shannon Stromquist Says:

    thanks for that mate! awesome idea and thoroughly interesting read. ive been trying to convince my mates that we should have a guys curry night in instead of going out every week, and actually did it last week. awesome success it was, i tell you! i found a tasty chicken and a few others from this curry recipes site, and even makde the naan myself too! who said guys cant cook!

  19. edith Says:

    can i sustitute green curry paste for red curry paste?!?!
    i like better the red one
    love ouy blog!!

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