Spoon 1/2 cup of the thick coconut cream from the tops of the cans of coconut milk into a large, heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook, whisking constantly, until heated through and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to low, add the fish sauce and sugar and simmer gently for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Increase the heat to medium high, stir in the shrimp, and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the basil and peas and cook, stirring, until the peas are heated through, about 1 minute.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips