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Coconut Curry Salmon over rice in a bowl ff
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4.52 from 35 votes

Coconut Curry Salmon

Salmon gets an Asian flare in this coconut curry salmon recipe. Spicy with lots of flavor. It makes a simple weeknight or company meal in just 30 minutes. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai-Style
Servings (change as needed): 3 (or 2 bigger portions)
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup/52g)
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) diced tomatoes with juices from can (or 14 ounce can) Or use tomato sauce if you like.
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) unsweetened coconut milk from can
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups (60g) baby spinach, fresh (optional)
  • 1 pound (0.45kg) salmon fillets, skin removed (2-3 fillets)

Seasonings and Aromatics

  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove or 2 frozen cubes)
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp ginger powder or 2 frozen cubes)
  • 1/2 tablespoon red curry paste pretty spicy (use less if you want)
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • SAUTE: Heat oil in skillet to medium high. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, ginger and all seasonings. Stir and saute until fragrant for anther 2 minutes.
  • ADD LIQUIDS AND SIMMER: Add diced tomatoes with juices, coconut milk and cilantro. (If using whole tomatoes, crush by hand). Bring to boil, then lower to medium and simmer, uncovered for 8-10 minutes until slightly thickened. Add spinach if using and stir until wilted, 1 minute.
  • POACH SALMON: Add salmon and cover it with sauce. Cover skillet and simmer on medium low for 5 minutes. Then turn off heat and let it sit for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Tip: If salmon is not an even thickness, the thin part will cook more quickly, so cut that off and add the thin part for just a few minutes toward the end of cooking. Note 1. Serve in bowls over rice, pasta or quinoa.


  1. How to tell if salmon is cooked: Salmon will be opaque and warm pink in the middle and you will be able to separate the flesh easily with a sharp knife with no resistance. It should not be white and flaky - this is a sign of over cooked fish. 
  2. Variations and substitutions
    • Instead of salmon
      •  poach shrimp for 3-4 minutes in the sauce
      • poach a different fish such as halibut or cod or any white fish fillet.
      • use cooked boneless chicken and add at the end once the coconut curry sauce is made
    • For a vegetarian version, use the sauce with cooked pasta, tofu or gnocchi.
    • Add other vegetables when you are sauteing the onions such as red pepper or mushrooms.
    • Instead of diced tomatoes, use tomato sauce e.g. Marinara or whole tomatoes crushed by your hands
  3. Make Ahead: The sauce can be made 4-5 days ahead and kept in the fridge. When ready to serve, heat the sauce, add the spinach (if using) and then poach the salmon as per the recipe.
Nutrition values are estimates for 3 portions. They will be higher if the full coconut curry salmon recipe for 2 servings only. 
Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 649mg | Potassium: 1226mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2488IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 4mg