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Easy Curry Salmon

January 9, 2024

Bright herbs, creamy coconut curry broth, and juicy salmon make a flavorful addition to weeknight cooking in this coconut salmon curry recipe.


homemade curry salmon made with four filets of salmon in a coconut curry broth in a skillet topped with cilantro
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Recipe for Salmon Curry

This Thai-inspired coconut curry salmon is super simple and combines two of our favorite things! Aromatic curry and perfectly-cooked salmon come together for a delicious one-pot meal. Salmon filets are crisped up to perfection followed by a generous serving of rich curry and a garnish of fresh herbs and squeezed lime. Serve atop a steaming scoop of rice. We like to use a red curry for this curry salmon recipe as it’s moderately spiced and one of the most versatile! This healthy dish will be a new go-to in your weeknight dinner rotation.

homemade curry Salmon in a bowl over white rice topped with lime.

How Long Should Salmon Be Cooked?

Salmon is one of our favorite, quick-cooking proteins! It’s filled with omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, selenium, and vitamin B12 making it a nutritious choice and perfect for curry salmon. Try to choose filets that are similar in size for equal cooking times. At 400°F in the oven with skin on salmon, it only takes about 8-10 minutes to bake, or until the fish flakes with a fork. You can also use frozen salmon! Just keep in mind that salmon usually defrosts in about 30 minutes to an hour in a bowl of ice water, depending on the salmon filet size. A reminder that for food safety purposes internal temperature should reach 145°F. We recommend enjoying your salmon curry directly after cooking–and if there are leftovers–curry salmon can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days!

Four raw salmon filets seasoned with curry paste, salt, brown sugar and garlic power on a foil lined baking sheet
Four cooked salmon filets seasoned with curry paste, salt, brown sugar and garlic power on a foil lined baking sheet

How Should You Season Salmon?

And what kind of spice goes with salmon, you may ask? Salmon’s natural flavor is fresh, rich, and lends itself well to saucy counterparts such as red curry! For this salmon with curry sauce, we use a red Thai salmon curry with coconut milk. Other flavor profiles include punches of garlic and onion, pungency from fish sauce, sweetness from brown sugar, and a zesty bite from ginger. All of these delicious flavors come together to create an irresistible salmon curry recipe. If you love salmon as much as we do, you could also try our Baked Salmon, Salmon Chowder, or Salmon Bowl, all of which really allow delicious salmon to shine through.

Ingredients for one pot curry salmon including raw salmon, bell peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, basil, and curry paste

What You’ll Need for Curry Salmon

Many of the ingredients you’ll need for salmon with coconut curry might already be in your pantry. The others, such as fish sauce and red curry, are likely available from your local grocer! In a perfect world, we’d make our red curry from scratch, but for this recipe, and to keep this quick, store-bought is just fine! We love the use of fresh veggies and herbs to brighten up the dish and add a pop of color. You’ll need:

  • Salmon filets, skin-on
  • Sea salt
  • Brown sugar
  • Red curry paste
  • Vegetable, or olive oil (really any neutral oil will do!)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Two types of garlic: garlic cloves and garlic powder
  • Coconut milk
  • Fish sauce
  • Sweet onion
  • Green and red bell peppers
  • Fresh herbs like green onions, basil, and cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice
Red curry paste, lime juice in a small bowl
Coconut milk, garlic, fresh ginger and red curry paste in a large skillet to make curry sauce
Coconut curry with bell peppers and fresh basil in a large skillet
Coconut Curry broth in a large skillet with four filets of salmon and coconut curry being spooned over the salmon.

How to Make Easy Coconut Salmon Curry

Thai salmon curry, curried salmon, or coconut salmon curry are just some of the names this dish may fall under and we’re here to explain step-by-step how to make luscious, creamy, flavorful salmon coconut curry in about 30 minutes time.

  1. Make the curry rub! This is one of the most important ingredients in this dish so we like to splurge for the best quality curry for red curry salmon! Grab your spices and curry to create a flavor-packed salmon rub.
  2. Cook the Salmon! As we grew up in the Pacific Northwest we’re pros at cooking salmon. Place your salmon skin side down and pat dry each filet to achieve a crispy exterior! From here, layer on the flavor with the rub for this curry baked salmon.
  3. Make the Curry! It’s incredible that this delicious sauce comes together in 15 minutes and is loaded with flavor, one that tastes like it took all day to make! Don’t be afraid of the fish sauce – although it might smell a bit pungent straight from the bottle, we assure you it’s essential to developing the deep flavor of the curry sauce and will mellow out as it cooks! Make sure to wait till the end to add the fresh herbs and squeeze of lime for an extra bright flavor!
  4. Serve! Slide your flakey salmon away from the skin! We like to place ours on a bed of Coconut Rice, Cilantro Lime Rice, or cauliflower rice, but it also pairs nicely with Herbed Flatbreads. Then, take a big spoonful of delicious curry and veggies and serve it over the top. Finish with a flourish of green onion and fresh herbs. Bon appétit!
Four salmon filets in a coconut curry broth with bell peppers and onions topped with cilantro and basil and fresh limes

Tools You’ll Need For This Salmon Curry Recipe

We’re Big Curry Fans!

Cozy, comforting, spicy curry lends itself to so many different dishes! Try our Green Curry Salmon recipe or some of our other favorites:

Coconut curry in a large skillet with four filets of salmon topped with cilantro and basil and fresh lime wedges.

Weeknight Dinner in a Pinch!

As queen Ina Garten would say, “How easy was that?” Snap a picture of your Easy One Pot Curry Salmon! We love to see your photos of recipes so tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Easy Curry Salmon

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 482


Curry Salmon

  • 4 (4 oz) salmon filets
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable olive oil, or any neutral oil

Curry Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable olive oil, or any neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, from a 2-inch piece
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoons brown sugar, optional
  • 1 small sweet onion, ½-inch sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, ½-inch sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, ½-inch sliced
  • 4 green onions, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the salmon skin side down on foil. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Make the curry rub for the salmon: In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt, brown sugar, red curry paste, garlic powder and the oil until fully combined. Spread the curry paste mixture over the salmon and place it in the oven until it easily flakes with a fork, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Make the curry sauce: In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the oil until glistening. Add the grated ginger and minced garlic to the oil and cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the red curry paste and coconut milk and whisk until fully combined.
  5. Add the fish sauce, brown sugar, onions and peppers. Allow to simmer until the onions and bell peppers are tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  6. Add the lime juice and fresh basil to the pan and stir to combine.
  7. Remove the salmon from the oven. Using a spatula, slide the cooked salmon away from the skin and transfer it to the curry sauce, spooning the sauce over the salmon.
  8. Top the salmon curry with green onions, cilantro and extra basil if desired. Serve family style along with cooked rice.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories482
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates18 g
  • Total Fat37 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium802 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Easy Curry Salmon

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Genevieve

    What would you recommend to make this a very spicy curry recipe? My husband loves heat in his curry, and he asked me to make the same thing but spicier.

    you could add red chiles or cayenne to kick up the heat.

  • Barbara

    The sodium is very high in this, any way to reduce it?

    Hi Barbara. Sodium in this recipe comes from the curry paste, fish sauce and sea salt. While you're buying ingredients different curry paste/fish sauce brands will contain far different amounts of sodium so look for the ones that have The lowest sodium content. You can also use less salt in the dry rub for the salmon and then just add more salt to taste later if needed. Hope this helps and hope you enjoy!

  • Alex

    is the recipe freezable?

    Yes, this should freeze fine. Hope you enjoy!

  • Karima

    My husband is allergic to all things coconut, what can I substitute for the milk?
    Thank you

    I would suggest making a different salmon recipe off our site.

  • Brett

    Why not coconut milk cream? I’d think it’d get a nice saucier outcome

    Curry is traditionally made with coconut milk. You can try the coconut cream if you prefer.

  • Liz

    So tasty! I’ve been eyeing this recipe for awhile and I’m so glad I finally made it. It came together easily and quickly. The salmon is amazing with the rub, and tastes so good with the sauce. Thank you!

    Thanks Liz, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Jessica

    I thought this recipe was kind of bland. I think the curry needed some more depth to it - I’d probably cut the coconut milk down next time and add more curry paste, plus additional spices like coriander.

  • Michelle

    Great recipe! Taste just like it came out of a Thai restaurant and super easy recipe to follow.

    Thanks Michelle, so happy you loved it!

  • Erin

    Made this tonight and it hit the spot! Added a little extra spice with cayenne for an extra kick. 10/10!!

    Thanks Erin, so happy you love it!

  • Becca

    So yummy! I am starting to dabble more with curry thanks to this site. I would highly recommend trying this!

    Thanks Becca, we are so happy you enjoyed it!