This seared salmon coconut curry is flavorful, delicious, and easy. Sure to be a hit, this beautiful meal of perfectly cooked salmon in a tasty Thai curry comes together in about 30 minutes and all in one pan!
I've got another one-pan meal for you that is beautiful, fast, and delicious.
Perfectly cooked salmon in a spinach Thai red curry sauce that comes together in about 30 minutes...
...and you can serve it directly from the pan at the table!
How can you resist?
A Few Simple Ingredients
The ingredient list for this recipe is really simple and there is a good chance you may already have all the ingredients on-hand already. If not, rest assured the ingredients are very easy to find.
Obviously, you need salmon filets, then you also need some Thai red curry paste and some ginger and garlic.
The sauce is made up of coconut milk, fish sauce, and honey. For the greens, I use a generous helping of spinach leaves because they're nutrient-packed and cook up fast.
Start To Finish in One Pan
This dish starts off with searing the salmon, skin-side down in a skillet with some oil. I think skin-on salmon is really nice, especially if the skin has been seared so it's nice and crispy. However, if you prefer to use skinless salmon filets, that's completely fine, too.
After searing the salmon for a few minutes on each side, transfer the filets to a plate and it's time to work on the curry.
In the same pan, cook the ginger, garlic, and red curry paste to release their flavors and aromas before pouring in the coconut milk mixture.
Bring the curry sauce to a simmer and it's time to throw in the spinach leaves which will wilt and cook in no time. Once the sauce is bubbling, it's time to return the salmon filets to the pan, skin-side up, and nestle them into the sauce. Heat through for another minute and dinner is ready! If desired, garnish with chopped scallions, fresh coriander/cilantro, slices of red Thai chilis, or lime wedges.
Surprisingly easy, isn't it??
As I mentioned already, you can use skin-on or skinless salmon filets for this recipe. This recipe would also work with other types of firm fish like halibut or cod, or other seafood like scallops or prawns.
For a vegetarian variation, try frying slices of eggplant, mushrooms, or firm tofu. Combine a few different vegetables like bell peppers, eggplant, green beans, broccoli, etc. for a vegetable medley curry.
This recipe calls for Thai red curry paste, but there are also green and yellow curry pastes, with green being the spiciest and yellow being the mildest. Red falls right in between, making it a very good basic curry. Feel free to use green or yellow curry paste, though, if you want to try and change up the spice level.
Fish sauce is a magical ingredient that gives a dish a savory umami or depth of flavor. In a pinch, you could use soy sauce as a substitute, but keep in mind that it will not have exactly the same flavor as fish sauce.
Honey provides a bit of sweetness to balance out the saltiness in the dish, but you can use whatever sweetener you prefer. You can also omit it completely.
I used spinach, but you can certain use different vegetables for this salmon coconut curry. Green beans or sugar snap peas would go nicely, as would chunks of sweet bell peppers (I would use orange or yellow). If you decide to use vegetables that take longer to cook than spinach, simple let them simmer with the sauce for a few minutes before adding the salmon back into the pan.
How To Enjoy It
Rice is a no-brainer companion and is perfect for soaking up that delicious sauce, or for an even more flavorful option, serve the curry with my Savory Ginger Garlic Coconut Rice. Flatbread, parathas, or even slices of French bread, are all also great for soaking up the curry sauce. If you are on a low-carb diet, serve it with cauliflower rice.
This salmon curry is easily adaptable for various different diets. As it is, it is already gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free. Omit the honey and serve it with a cauliflower rice and you've got a great low-carb keto meal or paleo meal. Substitute the salmon with vegetables and soy sauce for the fish sauce and it becomes a vegetarian dish. This recipe is definitely a winner all-around.
Developing the recipe for this seared salmon coconut curry came easier than I initially thought it would. I had an image in my mind and an idea of how I thought it should come together...and I was so happy when it worked! This dish just goes to show that you don't need fancy ingredients or many ingredients to create something healthy, delicious, and beautiful.
Seared Salmon Coconut Curry
- 6 salmon filets (approximately ¾ lb. total)
- Neutral flavored oil (canola, extra light olive oil, coconut)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey (or any sweetener of choice)
- Large handful fresh spinach leaves
- Chopped green onions
- Slices of red Thai chilis
- Fresh coriander/cilantro
- Lime wedges
- In a bowl or measuring cup, mix coconut milk with fish sauce and honey. Set aside.
- Pat salmon filets dry with paper towels and season skin-side of salmon with some salt.
- Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add 2-3 tablespoons oil.
- Add salmon to the skillet, skin-side down and fry for 3 minutes. Do not move the salmon.
- Flip salmon and fry for another 3 minutes.
- Transfer salmon to a plate, skin-side up.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, then add minced garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Stir and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add coconut milk mixture to the pan. Bring to a simmer.
- Add spinach to the skillet and stir to wilt.
- Add salmon back to the pan, skin-side up and cook for 1 minute.
- Transfer to serving dish or serve directly from the skillet. Serve with steamed rice or flatbread.
- A cup's worth of steamed rice adds 196 calories and 43 carbs per serving.
- You can use skinless salmon filets in place of skin-on filets.
- Substitute the salmon with other firm fish like halibut or cod.
- Sear scallops or shelled prawns for a seafood curry.
- Substitute salmon with sliced eggplant, mushrooms, or firm tofu slices for a vegetarian option.
- If using vegetables other than spinach, let them cook longer in the curry sauce before returning the salmon to the pan.