Yellow curry bowl

Yellow curry is the definition of a culinary warm embrace, perfectly suited to Australia’s mild winters it offers many possibilities for menu adaptation. This version pairs shellfish with a lively addition of fresh herbs and some Australian finger lime for added zing.

While originating in Thailand, yellow curry gives a hint to the history of the region, incorporating many Indian spices (fenugreek, lemongrass, coriander etc) indicative of the spices traded in the region by Indian merchants centuries ago. No specific definition of this sweet, mildly spicy curry exists, so the interpretations are boundless and open to your own interpretation.








  • 1kg fresh rice noodle sheets
  • 2 ears corn
  • 30ml peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 70g yellow curry paste (pre-made or house-made – see recipe below)
  • 30ml fish sauce
  • 30g brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind purée
  • 100ml chicken or shellfish broth
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 500g clams, rinsed
  • 8 plump scallops on the shell
  • 8 green scampi, split lengthwise and cleaned


Pimp it up
To serve, add in any or all of these to your liking!

  • Coriander leaves, Thai basil, mint, crispy chilli oil, sliced red chilli, bean sprouts, sliced snow peas, grape tomatoes, crispy shallots, roasted cashews, finger lime pearls and lime wedges


House-made yellow curry paste

Makes 250g (approx. 1 cup). This recipe can be multiplied as required.

  • 5g dried red chilli, soaked and roughly chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced (you can use any chilli you like here)
  • 1 (30g) lemongrass stalk, woody end removed and finely sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, vein removed and finely shredded
  • 3 red eschallots, peeled and sliced
  • 30g fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced
  • 20g galangal, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 30ml fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon belcan (shrimp paste)
  • 30g grated palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato powder (optional – substitute 3 teaspoons tomato paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg


1. To prepare the noodles

Slice the fresh rice noodle sheets into ribbons to your desired thickness, rinse under hot water to separate and blanch in boiling water to serve. Set aside.

2. To prepare the corn

Blanch the corn in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cut the kernels from the corn by holding the corn upright and slicing down the length, using the core as a guide. Toss the kernels in 1 teaspoon of peanut oil and cook under a salamander or on a griddle until starting to blacken. Set aside.

3. To make the curry

Heat the remaining 20ml of peanut oil in a wok or large fry pan over medium-high heat, add the garlic and let it sizzle for a minute. Add in the curry paste and fry until fragrant, 2-3 minutes then mix in the fish sauce, brown sugar and tamarind paste. Add the broth and the coconut cream and stir to combine. Add in the clams, bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat low and cover for 3-4 minutes (the clams are ready when the shells have sprung open). Remove from the heat.

While the clams are cooking, grill the scallops and the scampi on a medium-hot griddle brushed with a little oil until golden and just cooked.

4. To serve

For a single serving, add 250g noodles to a large serving bowl, spoon the hot curry sauce over the noodles, add a quarter of the clams, then arrange two scampi and two scallops on the noodles. Pimp up the garnish and serve immediately.

5. To make the house-made yellow curry paste

Put all the ingredients into a bowl of a small food processor and blitz to a very fine paste. Store in clean jars or containers under a layer of neutral oil.

Featured in Winter 2023

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