Meatless Monday Challenge

30-Minute Salmon Coconut Curry

on February 21, 2024
last updated March 28, 2024
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This warming Salmon Coconut Curry is perfectly balanced between sweet, spicy, and citrus-y. Ready in 30 minutes and in just one pot. Serve over rice for the perfect comfort meal!
Salmon Coconut Curry served over white rice with two grilled naan breads.

Looking for a quick and cozy fish dinner? This Salmon Coconut Curry is warming, flavorful, and comes together in just 30 minutes and in just one pot.

The depth of flavor brings tons of taste and texture to each bite, and the salmon is beautifully complemented by the coconut and lime. Plus, this 30-minute fish recipe is super easy to whip up with minimal prep and just one dish.

Close up of bowl with rice, salmon coconut curry, and grilled naan.

As a busy mom and environmental scientist, one-pot meals are my absolute favorite! Less clean-up? Saving on both time and water? Sign me up!

And with such a wide variety of delicious one-pot recipes to choose from, cooking in just one pot definitely does not have to limit you!

Green tip: Speaking of cleanup, if you have a dishwasher-use it! Comparing dishwashing to handwashing, using an efficient dishwasher uses 1/6th the amount of water to get your dishes clean.

Salmon Coconut Curry Ingredients & Substitutions

Here’s everything you need:

  • Coconut oil. Or any other oil you prefer.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Coconut milk. Unsweetened, full fat coconut milk is best.
  • Thai red curry paste.
  • Fish sauce.
  • Lime juice.
  • Ginger paste. Or ground ginger.
  • Honey. Or light brown sugar.
  • Salmon. Skinless is preferred since you will be cubing it. If you need guidance in skinning your salmon filet, check out this article on how to remove salmon skin. You can use fresh or frozen salmon, just make sure to thaw the salmon completely before starting to make this recipe. You can do so by transferring it from the freezer to the refrigerator at least 12 hours before or adding it to a sealed storage bag and submerging it in lukewarm water for about 45 minutes.
  • Spinach.
all ingredients for Salmon Coconut Curry - coconut oil, spinach, Thai red curry paste, fish sauce, sweet onion, garlic, coconut milk, salmon, honey, ginger paste, lime juice

Sustainable Salmon

As an environmental scientist who really loves seafood, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about more responsible ways to source my fish.

The majority of the salmon that we as consumers buy is farmed salmon, which can be harmful to the environment. Antibiotics given to farmed fish often end up polluting surrounding water.

Additionally, over-catching smaller fish to meet high demand to feed the farmed salmon can be harmful to those fish populations.

On the flip side, catching wild salmon has its own set of drawbacks. Bycatch, or accidentally catching other animals and species of fish when fishing for wild salmon is one big one. Plus, it can be hard to find wild-caught salmon to purchase (not to mention expensive!).

So, what better options do we have? In the U.S., it’s best to buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon or sustainably farmed salmon.

Green tip: Look for Marine Stewardship Council and Friend of the Sea labels on your fish to ensure they were harvested sustainably.

Coconut Curry with Salmon Tips and Tricks

Prep Your Onion, Garlic, and Salmon

To get the timing of this dish just right, it’s important to prep your onions, garlic and salmon up front.

Start by cutting your onion around the core and peeling and discarding the outermost layer. Peel your garlic as well. You can save the onion and garlic peels to make your own vegetable broth or you can easily compost them.

Use a sharp knife to dice your onion and mince your garlic.

Blot dry your salmon with a paper towel (consider these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option!) to remove excess moisture.

Then, slice the salmon into bite-sized cubes. You can buy your salmon skinless (that’s what I do for this recipe!), or you can use a sharp knife to remove the salmon skin before cubing it.

Chopping board with diced onion and minced garlic.
Peel and mince your garlic and peel and dice your onion.
Salmon on a chopping board cut into bite-sized cubes.
Blot your salmon dry with paper towel and cut into cubes.

Cook Down the Onion and Garlic Before Adding the Coconut Milk

To a large frying pan or wok over medium heat, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Sautee for 5-7 minutes until fragrant and the onion is translucent.

Then, add the coconut milk and bring to a low boil. The coconut milk will give this creamy seafood recipe it’s delicious texture, but also gives the sauce a subtle sweetness and hint of coconut.

Diced onion and minced garlic sautéing in coconut oil.
Cook the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is translucent.
Adding coconut milk to pan with cooked onion and garlic.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a low boil.

Add the Curry, Ginger, and Fish Sauce

Still over medium heat, add the Thai red curry paste, ginger paste, and fish sauce. Stir to combine and bring the coconut curry sauce back to a low boil.

Close up of coconut curry sauce before adding salmon and spinach.
Add the Thai red curry paste, ginger, and fish sauce and stir. Bring to a low simmer.

Add the Salmon Next

Next, add the cubed salmon and poach in the sauce for 2-3 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Salmon cooking in coconut curry sauce.
Add the cubed salmon and simmer for a few minutes to poach the salmon.

Add the Spinach, Lime, and Honey Last

With the heat still on, add the spinach, honey, and lime juice. Allow the heat to wilt the spinach before stirring it into the sauce.

Adding honey to salmon coconut curry to sweeten.
Add the spinach, honey, and lime juice and allow the heat to wilt the spinach.

Cook Down and Thicken

Then, continue to simmer to thicken the sauce, until you are happy with the consistency.

Salmon coconut curry with spinach ready to serve.
Stir and simmer to thicken the sauce until you’re happy with the consistency.

How to Serve Coconut Salmon Curry

I love serving this coconut curry with salmon over basmati rice with fresh lime wedges and grilled naan.

Here are some of my other favorite veggie sides to serve this curry with:

Two bowls of plated salmon coconut curry.

How to Properly Store and Reheat Coconut Curry with Salmon

Leftover coconut curry with salmon will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Store it in an airtight container. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

The best way to reheat it is in a saucepan or wok over medium heat. You’ll know it’s ready when the salmon is thoroughly heated through and the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Green tip: Of the billions of tons of food wasted annually, 50% of food waste happens at home. Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and consuming leftovers.

Why this Salmon Coconut Curry is a Great Dinner Option

  • It’s super quick. Dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.
  • It’s crazy easy. Just one pot and 11 ingredients required.
  • It’s cozy and warming. The perfect comfort meal to warm your bones.

If you’re loving this Salmon Coconut Curry and want more quick salmon dinners, check out these Teriyaki Salmon Noodles and this 15-Minute Old Bay Salmon.

Salmon Coconut Curry served over white rice with two grilled naan breads.

30-Minute Salmon Coconut Curry

5 from 3 votes
Marley Goldin
This warming Salmon Coconut Curry is perfectly balanced between sweet, spicy, and citrus-y. Ready in 30 minutes and in just one pot. Serve over rice for the perfect comfort meal!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 10 ounces skinless salmon
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 13.66 ounces coconut milk (13.66 ounces = 1 can)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (+ up to 1 more tablespoon to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime = approx. 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  • Peel and mince your garlic. Cut your onion around the core, peel off the outer layer, and dice.
  • If need be, remove the skin from the salmon. Pat dry the salmon with a paper towel (try these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option) on both sides to remove excess moisture. Slice the salmon into bite-sized cubes.
  • To a large pan or wok over medium heat, add the coconut oil, onion, and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and bring to a low boil.
  • Add the red Thai curry paste, ginger, and fish sauce and stir to combine. Bring back to a low boil.
  • Add the cubed salmon and poach for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, lime juice, and honey. Allow the spinach to wilt, then stir to combine.
  • Simmer on low to thicken the sauce until you are happy with the consistency. Serve hot over rice with a little fresh lime juice.

Pro Tips

  • I highly recommend squeezing a little extra lime juice on top right before serving. The fresh lime juice really activates all the flavor!
  • For more quick and easy fish dinners, check out this list of 30 Minute or Less Fish Recipes


Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Coconut, Curry, Salmon, Salmon Bowl, Salmon Dinner, Salmon Recipes
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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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