Thai salmon curry is crisp salmon filets stewed in a creamy coconut milk sauce enhanced with red curry paste, bell peppers, and fragrant spices. Flavorful, comforting, and ready in less than 30 minutes. This quick and easy Thai salmon curry recipe is perfect for a casual weeknight dinner.
Thai salmon curry takes tender, flaky, moist salmon and adds it to a silky smooth red sauce for a truly mouthwatering meal. Each forkful is better than the last and you won’t believe how easily it all comes together!
Why This is the Best Thai Salmon Curry Recipe
- Quick and Easy. Cook your rice while the fish simmers in the sauce and you can have a complete meal on the dinner table in just 30 minutes!
- Better Than Takeout. Get restaurant-quality food from the comfort of your home. It’s quicker, healthier, and cost-efficient.
- Customizable. Want to use yellow curry instead of red? Care to spice it up? Curious to try Thai salmon curry in the instant pot? You have plenty of options!
Thai Salmon Curry Ingredients
- Salmon Filets: Use high-quality fresh or frozen salmon. Just be sure to defrost before cooking and pat dry the salmon before seasoning them.
- Seasoning: I season the salmon with salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, coriander, and cumin.
Thai Curry Sauce
- Aromatics: I use diced red onion, diced red bell pepper, grated or minced garlic cloves, and grated ginger for a tasty, savory flavor base.
- Lemongrass Paste: This has a fresh citrus taste with a touch of ginger. If using fresh lemongrass as a replacement, bruise the root so it’s more fragrant.
- Thai Red Curry Paste: I use Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste but you can use your preferred curry paste. It is a blend of red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger), and other spices. As an alternative, use fried red chili red peppers.
- Tamari or Soy Sauce: For a pop of umami flavor, add one or the other. For a greater depth of salty flavor, use fish sauce too.
- Coconut Milk: This is the base of the luscious, creamy sauce and a staple in Thai cuisine. It also tenderizes the salmon. Use full-fat coconut milk for the best results.
- Brown Sugar: Add something sweet to balance the salty and savory flavors. Authentic Thai salmon curry uses palm sugar but brown sugar is easier to find.
- Seasoning: Coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste
- Lime: Balance the spice with a splash of fresh lime juice.
How to Make Thai Salmon Curry
Step 1: season the salmon fillets with salt, pepper, smoke paprika, garlic powder, cumin and coriander.
Step 2: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the salmon skin-side down for 3-5 minutes then flip it and cook for another 3 minutes until golden brown on top.
Step 3: To the same skillet saute the onion and bell pepper about 3 minutes until fragrant.
Step 4: Add the ginger, garlic, Thai red curry paste, lemongrass paste, coriander, cumin and paprika. Mix it all together and cook for 1 minute.
Step 5: Add the coconut milk, Tamari sauce, brown sugar and mix well. Allow the sauce to come to a low simmer then add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 6: Add the salmon back to the skillet and drizzle with fresh lime juice. Spoon the sauce over the salmon and let it cook for about 1-3 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve immediately.
- For the best flavor, sear the salmon before adding it to the pan with sauce. The caramelization adds texture and makes the dish that much more satisfying.
- If the coconut milk begins to curdle, stir it gently for about one minute.
- Do not overcook the salmon. It cooks fairly quickly so watch it closely.
Spicy: Add fresh Thai chilies or dried red pepper flakes for more heat.
Thai Prawn and Salmon Curry: You can use shrimp or prawns for a heartier meal. You could even replace the salmon with that instead. Of course, these will take less time so add the shrimp in the last five minutes of cooking.
Vegetarian: Add extra firm tofu or vegetables (like mushrooms or sweet potatoes) to replace the salmon.
What to Serve With Red Thai Salmon Curry
- Vegetables: I love serving this with fresh veggies for added fiber and vitamins. Make it a nutritious one-pan meal when you include vegetables like carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, and snap peas.
- Noodles: Try rice noodles or ramen.
- Rice: Soak up all that yummy sauce with basmati rice or jasmine rice.
- Dumplings: Serve them with your favorite dumplings for a more substantial meal.
Can Thai Salmon Curry Be Made Ahead?
Yes! Make the curry sauce up to 3 days in advance. Make the salmon the day you plan to serve the dish.
This is one of those recipes that tastes even better the next day. After it has cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place it in the freezer for one month.
What is the difference between Thai red and yellow curry?
Thai red curry is made with red chiles whereas yellow curry is made with yellow chiles.
Can I freeze curry with coconut milk?
I don’t recommend freezing a dairy based milk but coconut milk does not contain dairy so it is more freezer-friendly. There is still a chance that the texture will change after it is frozen. However, you can minimize this risk by properly enclosing the leftovers and not keeping it frozen for more than one month.
More Salmon Recipes:
DID YOU MAKE THIS THAI SALMON CURRY RECIPE?
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Thai Salmon Curry
- 2-3 Salmon Filets
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- ¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp Coriander
- ¼ tsp Cumin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Thai Curry Sauce
- ⅓ cup Red Onion diced
- ⅓ cup Red Bell Pepper diced
- 4 Garlic Cloves grated or minced
- 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger grated
- 1 tbsp Lemongrass Paste
- 2 tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
- 1 tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
- 1 13 oz can Coconut Milk
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- ¼ tsp Coriander
- ¼ tsp Cumin
- ¼ tsp Paprika
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ½ Lime juiced
- Season the salmon fillets with salt, pepper, smoke paprika, garlic powder, cumin and coriander.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the salmon skin-side down for 3-5 minutes then flip it and cook for another 3 minutes until golden brown on top. The salmon should be almost fully cooked at this point so transfer it to a plate and set aside. We will cook it some more in the curry sauce. If you don't want to eat the salmon skin, you can easily peel it off at this step before adding it to the sauce later.
- Remove some of the excess oil from the skillet. To the same skillet add the onion and bell pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes until fragrant (make sure to not burn them).
- Add the ginger, garlic, Thai red curry paste, lemongrass paste, coriander, cumin and paprika. Mix it all together and cook for 1 minute.
- Now add the coconut milk, Tamari sauce, brown sugar and mix well. Allow the sauce to come to a low simmer then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the salmon back to the skillet and drizzle with fresh lime juice. Spoon the sauce over the salmon and let it cook for about 1-3 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve immediately.
- Make sure to use a high quality coconut milk. I used Thai Kitchen coconut milk because its thick, creamy and flavorful.
- I also recommend the Thai Kitchen red curry paste. You can find these products at most grocery stores.
- Try to use as many fresh ingredients for this recipe. Fresh garlic and ginger is a must. I like to grate my ginger and garlic because mix into sauces well and also releases more flavors that way.
- If you don’t have Tamari sauce, you can use soy sauce.
- If sugar isn’t your thing, feel free to omit the brown sugar. Its included in this recipe because Thai curry usually has a slight sweet flavor.