Have a restaurant-quality meal ready in less than 30 minutes with this Salmon Curry in Coconut Milk recipe, loaded with flavor and so easy to make! Simply whisk together a homemade curry spice blend, sear the fish, and then simmer in the coconut milk curry sauce until the fish is ultra tender and flaky. This dish is perfect for a busy weeknight meal.

A close-up of a salmon fillet in a coconut milk green curry sauce made with lime juice and curry powder.

Salmon Curry in Coconut Milk

I can’t get enough curry in my house!

And, since I tend to avoid dairy products, coconut milk curries are often on my menu. Go-to favorites include Thai Green Chicken CurrySlow Cooker Chicken CurryMassaman Chicken CurryPumpkin Curry, and now this salmon curry recipe.

Enjoy all of the rich and decadent flavors found in a traditional curry, but with a Thai-style spin by using coconut milk.

This curry recipe is a wonderful way to sneak in a bunch of vegetables. Not to mention you also get your daily dose of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, too.

It is fabulous served over a bed of fluffy rice or cauliflower rice to soak up the creamy coconut curry sauce for a satisfying low-carb meal. 

Coconut milk, salmon, spinach, curry spices, and lime on a wooden board as the ingredients for a salmon curry recipe.

Ingredients

  • Salmon. The first thing to look for when buying fish is that it is WILD and not farm-raised. Wild fish are healthier for you while also having a less fishy taste. Next, purchasing FRESH and not previously frozen will also give you the best flavor. King, Coho, and Sockeye salmon are commonly wild-caught varieties and are generally easy to find. Verlasso salmon is a sustainably farm-raised option that tastes incredible, too. 
  • Onion. Either a sweet or white onion will work in this recipe.
  • Bell pepper. Red, green, or yellow bell peppers can all be used.
  • Spinach. Regular or baby spinach will work. You may also switch out the spinach for finely chopped kale.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic is key for the best taste. Simply use a garlic press to get perfectly crushed garlic.
  • Ginger. Ginger paste is the most convenient option, and still gives that fresh ginger flavor.
  • Curry powder. A blend made from a wide variety of spices often including coriander, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. You can easy make your own curry powder or grab a bottle at the store.
  • Turmeric. The bright orange spice offers a warm, earthy flavor. 
  • Coriander. Made from the seed of the cilantro plant, this spice has a floral and somewhat lemony taste. 
  • Sugar. Coconut or brown sugar can both be used or left out completely if on a Whole30 diet.
  • Coconut Milk. Canned, full fat coconut milk is preferred but lite coconut milk can be substituted. DO NOT use the coconut milk that comes in a container in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

How to Make Salmon Curry

Please see the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and more detailed instructions.

Sear the Salmon

Start by cutting the fresh salmon fillets into 5 smaller pieces so they cook quickly and consistently.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil to a large skillet over medium heat or medium-high heat. You want enough room to easily fit all of the meat, veggies, and sauce.

Place the salmon fillets in the skillet, and pan sear for 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Use a fish spatula to remove the salmon from the pan. You can easily remove the salmon skin at this point if you’d like. This extra step of first searing until golden brown ensures the is crispy on the outside, but still flaky and tender in the middle.

A raw salmon filet being seared in a stainless steel skillet.

Cook the Veggies

Slice the onion into thin strips, and julienne the bell pepper with a sharp knife on a cutting board. Small, thin pieces are key to cooking consistently.

Add the second tablespoon of oil to the hot pan, then stir in the sliced onion and bell peppers.

Sauté the vegetables for 4 to 5 minutes, just until they start to become tender.

Then, stir the minced garlic and ginger paste and cook for another minute.

Thinly sliced sweet onion and red bell pepper for a Thai green curry recipe.

Make the Spice Mix

In a small bowl, combine the salt, curry powder, turmeric, coriander, and sugar (if using).

Use a whisk to ensure the spices are combined. You can adjust the levels according to your taste.

Curry spices in a bowl next to a hand holding a whisk.

Bring It Together

Carefully stir the spice mix, chili paste, coconut milk, and lime juice into the vegetables in the skillet. Stir well.

Bring the creamy coconut sauce to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Use a spatula or tongs to place the pan-seared salmon fillets back into the skillet, then cover it with a lid. Cook the salmon curry for 10 to 12 more minutes, just until the flaky salmon is cooked through.

Just before serving the Thai coconut salmon curry, stir in the chopped spinach. It’s delicious over rice or cauliflower rice (if you’re low-carb) and garnished with fresh cilantro (or other fresh herbs).

A large stainless steel skillet full of Thai green salmon curry.

How can I make curry spicy? 

You can add ground chile peppers or fresh chiles to make the curry spicier. 

What fish is suitable for curry? 

In addition to wild salmon and shrimp, whitefish like cod, sea bass, and haddock make great curries. 

FAQs

Do I use canned coconut milk for curry? 

Yes, canned coconut milk is much thicker than refrigerated coconut milk and will result in the best taste and consistency. Avoid light coconut milk if possible.

Can I use a lite coconut milk instead of full-fat? 

Yes, for a lower-fat option use lite coconut milk instead of full fat. Note, this coconut curry salmon dish won’t be as creamy, though. 

What’s the best type of salmon to use when making curry? 

Fresh, never frozen wild-caught salmon is preferred. However, Verlasso is a great tasting, sustainably farmed option. 

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Mix it up. Try making this recipe with shrimp instead of salmon. 
  • Include more veggies. Get a flavor and nutrition boost by including vegetables such as carrots, squash, or broccoli. 
  • Make it a meal. Serve over basmati rice or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
  • Full-fat for flavor. Opt for full-fat coconut milk over a lite for the best-tasting dish.
  • Peel after searing. The skin on the salmon can be removed easily once it has been partially cooked. 
  • Add some heat. If you like your curry spicy, add fresh or ground chiles.
Salmon curry recipe with bell peppers and onion in a coconut milk sauce.

What to Serve with Salmon Curry?

When you’re ready to dig into a bowl of this curry, there are a few things you can pair it with to make it an even better weeknight dinner.

Learn How to Cook White RiceHow to Cook Jasmine RiceHow to Cook Basmati Rice, or even How to Cook Wild Rice

Short on time? Instant Pot White Rice is your answer. Low carb? Go for Cauliflower Rice.

(Check out if Brown Rice is Healthier than White Rice!)

More Salmon Recipe Ideas

Looking for a variety of ways to enjoy this healthy fish? Give these recipes a try!

Miso Glazed SalmonHoney Sriracha SalmonTeriyaki Glazed Salmon, and Basil and Lemon Baked Salmon in Foil are so full of flavor.

Air Fryer Salmon and Blackened Salmon are easy to whip up.

Salmon Burgers are the perfect way to shake up a BBQ.

Or, make this 5-Minute Smoked Salmon Dip as an appetizer.

Tap stars to rate!

4.85 from 19 votes

Salmon Curry in Coconut Milk

Have a restaurant-quality meal ready in less than 30 minutes with this Salmon Curry in Coconut Milk recipe, loaded with flavor and so easy to make! Simply whisk together a homemade curry spice blend, sear the fish, and then simmer in the coconut milk curry sauce until the fish is ultra tender and flaky!
Yield 5 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼ lbs. salmon cut into 5 filets*
  • 2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
  • ½ sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ tsp. ginger paste or grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar or brown sugar, optional
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic paste
  • 15 oz. can coconut milk full fat*
  • 1 lime juice
  • 2 cups spinach coarsely chopped

Instructions 

  • Sear Salmon. In a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of oil and salmon filets. Sear salmon for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove salmon from skillet.
    1 ¼ lbs. salmon, 2 Tbsp. oil
  • Cook Veggies. Add remaining tablespoon of oil along with the sliced onion and bell pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables start to get tender. Stir in crushed garlic and ginger paste and saute for 1 minute.
    2 Tbsp. oil, ½ sweet onion, 1 red bell pepper, 2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp. ginger paste
  • Make the Spice Mix. In a separate small bowl whisk together the salt, curry powder, turmeric, coriander, and sugar (if using).
    1 tsp. salt, 1 ½ Tbsp. curry powder, ¼ tsp. ground turmeric, 1 tsp. coriander, 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • Bring it Together. Add spice mix, chili paste, coconut milk, and lime juice to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring sauce to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Place the salmon filets back into the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook salmon curry for 10-12 minutes or until salmon is cooked through. Stir in chopped spinach just before serving.
    1 tsp. chili garlic paste, 15 oz. can coconut milk, 1 lime, 2 cups spinach
  • Serve salmon curry over rice or cauliflower rice with cilantro and enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

4.85 from 19 votes

Notes

  • You can choose to leave the skin on the salmon or take it off after searing (I find it comes off more easily after this point.)
  • Lite coconut milk can be substituted, but the sauce will be thinner and not quite as flavorful. Do not use the refrigerated coconut milk, it will not give you the same results as the canned milk.

Dietary Modifications

This recipe is already gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:
  • Whole30: Simply leave out the sugar to make this recipe Whole30 compliant.
  • Lower Fat: Use a lite coconut milk instead of the full-fat option.
  • Low-Carb: Leave out the sugar for a low-carb main dish.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Wash and cut the veggies, and mix the dry spices. Store separately until ready to use.
  • To Store: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Keep the spinach separate and stir in just before serving.
  • To Freeze: This is not recommended as the texture of the salmon will change.
  • To Reheat: Warm on the stovetop for 5-10 minutes over medium-low heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 460kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 461mg, Potassium: 1039mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 2017IU, Vitamin C: 47mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! I love how the ingredients are always in my pantry and the preparation is simple and quick.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Rich! Those are the best kinds of recipes! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Daxa! It is so tasty and easy. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  2. I made this for dinner tonight. I didn’t have the chili garlic paste or the coriander. We don’t like things really hot so thought it would be fine. I did add a few red chili flakes at the end. It was delicious and will share the recipe with all my friends.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Mary! I’m glad you found a way to make it work for your family. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  3. 5 stars
    I HAVE MADE CURRY MANY MANY TIMES, AND IT’S VERY CLOSE TO YOUR RECIPE. I NEEDED TO USE UP MY SPINACH, AND THIS WAS PERFECT! THE ONLY THING I DIDN’T ADD, WAS THE CHILI PASTE. OTHER THAN THAT, I DID THIS EXACT RECIPE! THANK YOU! I’M PASSING THIS ON TO MY OTHER CURRY LOVERS!!

    1. Yay! So happy you enjoyed the recipe! I love hearing that you will be sharing this recipe. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

        1. Susan, there are five servings if you follow the ingredient amounts listed. So, a serving would be 1/5 of what you make.

  4. 5 stars
    Excellent. I did not have ginger, and we don’t eat spinach so we skipped that. The flavors danced on our tongues. We served over cauliflower rice