Salmon Curry

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This Salmon Curry is a fast and flavorful meal that you can cook in just 1 pan, in less than 30 minutes. I think you’re going to love it!

salmon curry over rice in black bowl

Why You’ll Love It

What I love about this Salmon Curry recipe is that it’s incredibly flexible. You can use any type of fish you have on hand, including fresh, frozen, or even canned salmon. In fact, this easy curry sauce will go well with practically any protein you have on hand.

This recipe cooks quickly on the stove, and if you want to cook a batch of rice in the Instant Pot at the same time, your meal will come together almost effortlessly. Or, try serving it with cauliflower rice, for a properly combined meal.

salmon and curry powder ingredients

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make this Salmon Curry, you’ll need just a handful of simple pantry ingredients. You may already have them on hand!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Coconut milk (I always use full-fat)
  • Curry powder (or curry paste)
  • Lime juice
  • Maple syrup (optional)
  • Any veggies you like!

This recipe is super-flexible, so you can use fresh, frozen, or canned salmon. The flavorful curry sauce makes any option taste delicious.

How to Make It

To get started, you’ll make the sauce. Start by sautéing the onion and bell pepper, to help them soften up. After 5 minutes, you can stir in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder.

sauteed peppers, onions and curry powder

Pour in the whole can of coconut milk next. (It’s okay if there are solid parts mixed in– they will liquefy as the coconut milk heats up in the pan.) I also like to add in a 1/2 cup of water to thin out the sauce, but that’s optional.

Bring the coconut milk to a simmer, season with salt, and add in any leafy greens you might want, like spinach, kale or arugula. They will wilt quickly, so I usually add the greens right before adding in the salmon.

coconut milk and spinach wilted in the pan

Tips for Cooking Salmon

Let’s briefly talk about cooking salmon. I always cook fresh salmon with the skin on, because I think it’s a pain to remove the skin while the fish is still raw. It flakes right off the skin after it’s cooked!

before and after of cooked salmon filets in pan

So, I cook the whole fish (skin and all) directly in the curry sauce. Once the fish is cooked, and looks opaque and flakes easily with a fork, I’ll use tongs to remove the salmon, and peel off the skin with a fork.

Sometimes the fish will flake directly into the curry sauce as I pick it up with the tongs, and that works, too. The point is, the skin will easily separate from the cooked fish, and then you can remove the skin before serving.

cooked salmon flaked into the curry sauce

If you’re using frozen salmon, I recommend thawing it before cooking it in this curry sauce. I haven’t tried cooking a frozen-solid salmon filet in this sauce, but I imagine it could work if you don’t have thawed salmon on hand. (Or try thawing frozen salmon in the air fryer first!)

When using canned salmon, you won’t need to cook this dish as long, since the salmon is already cooked. I’d simmer it in the sauce for at least 5 minutes, to let the flavors meld, and then it’s ready to serve.

Substitutions

As I mentioned above, this recipe is very flexible, so you can use almost anything you have on hand. If you don’t have full-fat coconut milk, you can use light coconut milk, or even refrigerated coconut milk from the store, for a lower-fat and less-creamy curry sauce.

If you don’t have fresh garlic and ginger, you can start by using 1/4 teaspoon each of the dried spices, if you have those on hand. I love ginger, so I’d probably add at least 1/2 teaspoon here, but it’s always best to start with less, and add more as needed.

If you don’t have a curry powder blend at home, you can make your own curry powder, too. Or, try a store-bought curry paste! In that case, you’ll just need to double or triple the amount (try using 2 to 3 tablespoons) to get a similar flavor.

cooked salmon, flaked in curry sauce

salmon curry in bowl with fresh cilantro on top
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4.72 from 14 votes

Salmon Curry

This salmon curry is a fast and flavorful meal that comes together in just 1 pan, in less than 30 minutes. You can use any veggies you have on hand with this easy curry sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Keyword salmon curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 520kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger , minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 (15 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt , plus more to taste
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1.5 pounds wild Alaskan salmon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro or basil , chopped
  • Cooked rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice , for serving

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and sauté the onion and red bell peper until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, ginger, and curry power, and stir briefly, just until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
    sauteed peppers, onions and curry powder
  • Add in the coconut milk, water, salt, and spinach, and stir until the spinach wilts and the coconut milk starts to simmer.
    coconut milk and spinach wilted in the pan
  • Place the salmon (I add it with the skin on-- it's easy to remove later!) directly in the simmering coconut milk, sprinkle a little extra salt over the top of each salmon filet, and then cover with a lid. Cook at a gentle simmer on medium-low heat, until the salmon is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness. I like to use a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF in the thickest part of the fish.
  • Use tongs to remove the cooked salmon, so you can peel off the skin. The cooked fish should flake off very easily from the skin, and then you can add the cooked salmon back into the curry sauce.
    cooked salmon flaked into the curry sauce
  • Add in the lime juice, maple syrup, and chopped herbs. (This is nice with fresh basil or cilantro, or both!) Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve warm over cooked rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
    salmon curry over rice in black bowl

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 of 4 servings, not including the rice. This is just an estimate, and not a guarantee. 

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 681mg | Potassium: 1241mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1720IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 6mg

If you try this Salmon Curry, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite way to serve fish?

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Comments

Tom ~ Raise Your Garden

This salmon curry looks absolutely fabulous, I’m always looking for new ways to prepare fish since that’s my job. I love going fishing with my Dad on Lake Ontario and yes, we catch salmon. We love fresh fish when in season. Way to cold in the Niagara Falls area where we live right now to fish but we look forward to catching fish this summer to use for recipes like this. Until then, we’ll buy pretty good fish from Wegmans. Some of our immediate family just moved to Alaska so we are hoping to visit them and catch fresh fish to eat there too. Always looking for inspirational fish recipes to try! Thanks for sharing.

Rande @ RandeMoss.com

I also love that TJ’s has wild fish – and at a good price too! I’ll definitely be trying this over some cauliflower rice 🙂

Cristina

This looks so delicious! I’ve never tried curry on my salmon before, I’ll have to try this!

Cindy

I usually buy frozen fish because it being more cost effective & overall more convenient. I like to get it ahead of time so frozen better. I sauté it, bake it with sauces & have put in parchment paper packets with veggies and even tried grilling it. Testing for doneness, etc. I am still learning so it doesn’t come out overdone & dry. Lately, I’ve been turning pan or oven off and letting it set briefly and so far has come out perfect. This recipe looks good!

Susie

Please,check this link http://www.sirovahrana.hr/clanak/nugat_kolac-1095/4.It is your recipe “raw fudge” without your name as an author

Maja

http://www.sirovahrana.hr/clanak/sendvic_sladoled-1044/8 here you can find yours recipe but she did not use your name as an author

Maja

Here it is another recipe on the same site http://www.sirovahrana.hr/clanak/zdravi_nutella_kolacici-1082/4 where she didn¤t write your page as a source instead she put herself as an author.And here http://www.sirovahrana.hr/clanak/nugat_kolac-1095/4

    Megan Gilmore

    Thanks for letting me know! Ugh, I hate it when people do that. 🙁

Angela

Did you completely thaw the salmon first?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes I did– I usually just put it in the fridge the night before I plan on making it, so it thaws overnight.

Corrina Brodersen

I’m new to using curry, but I do know there are multiple types. I have some curry from TJs, I guess it’s just “regular” curry? It’s red-ish, with turmeric, nuemeg, etc. Is this the one to use?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, I used that brand myself. 🙂

Rachel

Just made this tonight – so yummy…will certainly make this again.

Lisa

Has anyone used Greek yogurt instead of the coconut milk?

Lelani

Delish! Made this last night. Other than not doing a great job getting the skin off the salmon, it was super easy! Next time I make I am going to do a few modifications. 1) Grate vs mince ginger – I had a few pieces that didn’t soften up as much as I would have liked but it wasn’t a big deal. 2) Add carrots – I love carrots in curry 3) Finish with some lime. That said it was delish as is – just my personal preference. Enjoy!

    Roxane

    Living in Alaska, put up a lot of salmon. One trick for skinning… lay the fillet skin side down, on a cutting board at the edge of your counter. Now the skin is flat. Get your knife (sharp!!) started (I usually start at narrowest, tail end) and lay knife flat, parallel to counter, cutting board. Ever so slightly, angle your knife to follow the the flat surface between the skin and flesh. After I get it started, holding the flesh up, I reach over hold the first loose skin to anchor it and then just carefully slide the knife along the fillet. Fastest and cleanest method I have found with least waste.

      Roxane

      Maybe should have added… the fish is placed the long way, long edge with the counter. It is placed at the edge so that your hand on the knife has room to clear, keeping the knife blade level with the counter.

Caren

Hi Megan, I made this tonight and it was great!! Is coconut milk neutral for combining?

Meghan

hi! I only have light coconut milk, how much should I use and how much water! So excited to make this dish tomorrow night! Thank you

    Kate

    You can use the same amount but I would not add any additional water. It’ll work out and be less thick of sauce (cuz there is less fat in the milk) but once it gets absorbed by whatever you serve it over it won’t matter. Coconut fat is really good for you!

Joanne

This was delicious! Since leeks are out of season, I substituted about a cup of sliced shallots, and it worked out really well. This curry sauce is a really easy and yummy base that can be used with a variety of proteins & veggies.

Erin L

Hi! This sounds great. I usually sub coconut Aminos for soy (tamari/teriyaki) but I am out. Any tips as what to use instead? Thanks!!

Tara

I made this for lunch today and it was so good! The only change I made was to use coconut aminos instead of tamari. I will definitely make this again.

Nancy

Delicious! And my 11-year-old enjoys it as well. Woohoo!!

Cashea

I prepared this Easy Salmon Curry dish and it was amazing!! I prepared riced cauliflower as you suggested to server with it, and it was quite a hit with my family. Thank you for sharing!
Cashea

Susie

Delicious! But… Any tips on getting the skin off the salmon? I had a terrible time and wasted too much fish.

    Roxane

    It may help, I left a tip on skinning above, date Feb. 15,2015

      Roxane

      OOOPS 2016

Susie

This was supposed to be rated 5 stars!!

Erin L

This was amazing!!!

Krisanne

Hi,

I’ve been reading your book and was finding it difficult as its hard not to mix carbs with proteins, this recipe though has quinoa with salmon is quinoa ok to have with proteins without breaking that rule? This would be great for me 🙂

Loving your book and all your recipes 🙂

Thanks

    Megan Gilmore

    I suggest using cauliflower “rice” in this recipe if you want to keep it properly combined, however my family members don’t all follow food combining rules all of the time, so I usually serve it with quinoa for them.

dominique

Hi, I find that the skin comes off really easy if the fish is slightly frozen. It just peeled right off.

Patrise

Is it possible to use canned Salmon instead of frozen?

Jess

Hi Megan,

Is your recipe 1161 calories per serving?

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m pretty sure that’s a typo, so I’ll calculate the nutrition info soon!

Rachel Panay

I’m amazed at how good this is given how easy & fast it was! Plus I’m excited to learn another way to cool salmon in a sauce!

Andreina

This is the second time I make this recipe and I love it. I tried it with chicken the second time. Just as delicious. I could eat this curry everyday!

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for the feedback; I’ll try it with chicken some day, too.

Lexine Voutsinos

Hi there. This is such a great, tasty and easy recipe. I added additional coconut cream and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and its delicious. Thank you for the recipe!

Brenda

Although I grew up in Alaska, I do not care for salmon–would cod work in its place?

Anna Nevin

I made this yesterday and had the leftovers today which tasted even better. I’ll be making it again as it’s so delicious and light. I used courgette instead of spinach as I didn’t have any and that worked fine -which curry powder do you find is the best. I used garam masala and it was fine but wondered. Thank you

Sylvie

I have really enjoyed that meal. Easy to do, rapid and delicious. I had some mung sprouted beans that i have added at the very end.

I have served it with rice.

Everyone loved it thanks!

Laura

Made this tonight! So easy and good. Made 2 small changes- I used red curry paste in lieu of curry powder and left out the water. Will definitely make again! Thank you for another delicious recipe 😊

Beth wolberg

This is AMAZING! I made it tonight for dinner with a side of herbed brown rice, broccolini, roasted mushrooms and blistered shishito peppers… definitely a keeper. Thank you! I love everything I make of yours!

Jen

My first time cooking with curry, wow where has this been my whole life!!! I can eat the entire recipe in one sitting it’s perfection! Thank you for creating such a healthy and satisfying dinner!!

Erin

Made this for the second time tonight and it was so delicious! Easy, filling, tasty. My picky husband loves it and said he’ll eat this any day. Thank you Megan for your trials to get your recipes “just right” for us. We appreciate it and you!

Erika

This dish is SO delicious! Thanks Megan, never tried fish cooked like this before.

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