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salmon coconut curry in a skillet

Salmon Coconut Curry

This Thai-inspired salmon coconut curry has tender pan-seared salmon in a creamy red curry coconut milk broth. It's flavorful and comforting!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai American
Keyword salmon coconut curry, salmon curry with coconut milk
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 458kcal


  • 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.


Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 837mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5392IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 5mg