This Thai-inspired salmon coconut curry has tender pan-seared salmon in a creamy red curry coconut milk sauce. It's flavorful and comforting!
I looove this sauce. I can't resist a good coconut milk sauce. Thai red curry paste, extra garlic, onion, a bit of fish sauce, lime juice, and a little sugar is a symphony of flavors dancing on your tastebuds. I also threw in some carrots (I buy those pre-cut matchstick carrots that cook quickly) and some broccolini for added nutrition, texture, and color. The dish is finished off with some fresh chopped cilantro and basil, and it's a good one!
You can't go wrong serving this coconut curry salmon with rice to soak up all that yummy broth. I ended up eating the leftover salmon cold in a salad the next day, and that worked out nicely. The coconut milk keeps the salmon nice and tender.
This coconut milk salmon recipe can easily be adjusted to your tastes as needed... don't be shy to add more of any ingredient - that's what cooking is all about! If you're not a fan of the veggies I used in here, you can definitely swap them out for something different, just be sure they're cut up small enough that they cook fast. Peas (or snow peas) come to mind as a tasty addition, red peppers would be delish, and you could even try cut-up asparagus (get the thin kind).
Recipe notes & tips:
- Pan-searing salmon isn't difficult, but it can be stressful if it's sticking to the pan when you want to flip it. Here's some tips to avoid that from happening: pat the salmon dry, ensure the pan is good and hot, don't move the fish around the pan, and let it cook a little longer so it releases naturally.
- You don't have to add fish sauce to the recipe, but if you haven't tried it before, I strongly recommend it. It adds another layer of flavor to the dish, and don't worry, the flavor mellows out a lot (it smells quite fishy out of the bottle). It also lasts a long time in the fridge.
- The coconut milk you buy really matters. I prefer Thai Kitchen full-fat coconut milk. It's rich and creamy. Other brands I've found can be watery. You can find it in the Asian section of the grocery store along with the red curry paste and fish sauce.
- I used the pre-cut Bolthouse Farms Matchstix French-cut carrots for convenience, but you can definitely julienne them yourself (or cut them into very thin rings). You can use regular broccoli if you wish, but be sure to cut it into SMALL pieces so it cooks fast as well.
- Try adding some chopped fresh Thai chilis or some dried red pepper flakes if you like it spicy!
- If you're not a cilantro person, feel free to leave it out. You could also garnish the dish with scallions if you like.
More delicious salmon recipes to try:
I hope you will enjoy this salmon curry with coconut milk! Questions? Ask me in the comments below.
Salmon Coconut Curry
- 1 pound fresh salmon cut into 4 pieces
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 heaping tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1/2 cup carrot matchsticks
- 1 cup broccolini chopped small
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional but recommended, see note)
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil torn/chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- Cut the salmon into 4 equal pieces. Pat both sides dry with paper towel and season it with salt & pepper.
- Add the oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes. Prep your carrots and broccolini.
- Cook the salmon, skin-side down, for 5 minutes. Flip it and cook for another 2-3 minutes (the fish should be almost done). If the fish is sticking at any point, give it a little longer to release naturally (don't force it).
- Take the salmon out of the pan and transfer it to a plate. If you don't want to eat the salmon skin, you can easily slide it off before adding the salmon back into the pan.
- Spoon some of the oil out of the skillet so you have about a tablespoon of it left in there.
- Add the onion to the skillet and sauté for about 3 minutes (should be getting lightly browned), then stir in the curry paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add in the fish sauce, coconut milk, sugar, carrots, and broccolini. Let it gently bubble for about 5 minutes or so. The veggies should be tender-crisp, but you can cook them for a little longer if you prefer.
- Stir in the lime juice, then add the fish back to the pan. Season with more salt & pepper as needed. Let it warm through for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and cilantro and serve immediately.
- I used Thai Kitchen coconut milk and highly recommend it because it's thick and creamy and not watery like some other brands. I also used Thai Kitchen red curry paste.
- If you don't want to buy fish sauce just for this recipe, you can swap with soy sauce, but it won't have quite the same effect. I always keep some in my fridge... it really enhances Asian-inspired cooking!
- You can chop (julienne) your own carrots vs. using the pre-cut kind that I did and use broccoli instead of broccolini... just be sure to cut everything very small.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.