Foodist Approved: Green Curry Braised Salmon Recipe

by | Apr 19, 2016

green curry braised salmon kopecky 650px
This green curry salmon recipe, compliments of James Beard award-winning cookbook author Diane Morgan, proves weeknight dinners can be fancy without the fuss.

Last week I was thrilled to see the first fresh wild Alaskan salmon of the season at my local grocery store. It was an excuse to put friend Diane Morgan’s beautiful new Salmon cookbook to the test.

After flipping through all the mouth-watering recipes in her book, this recipe jumped out at me as being both simple and unique. I love making flavorful curries and hadn’t thought to try one made with fish.

I’m never good at following a recipe exactly, but this recipe is perfect as written below. If you’re feeling adventurous you can try these small tweaks:

Being a veggie lover, I couldn’t resist tossing in a hearty handful of baby spinach in the last couple minutes of simmering.

I also substituted coconut sugar for brown sugar.

Since I was using my favorite potent green curry paste, Oregon-based Thai and True, I scaled back to slightly less than 1/4 cup. If you prefer less spice than start out with 3 tablespoons of curry paste and you can always taste and add a little more curry at the end of cooking.

This recipe is great served on top of jasmine rice, short-grain brown rice, or quinoa.

Green Curry Braised Salmon

Serves 4

  • 4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each, skin and pin bones removed
  • One 13 1/2–ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup Thai green curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce, preferably Vietnamese nuoc mam
  • 2 cups snow peas, stem ends trimmed and strings removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 green onions, including green tops, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature.

Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Spoon out the thick cream that has separated and risen to the top. Set the cream aside in a small bowl. Pour off the remaining thin coconut milk and reserve it separately.

In a large sauté pan, warm the coconut cream over medium-low heat. Add the curry paste and whisk until smooth and the mixture comes to a simmer. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the thin coconut milk, water, and fish sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring once or twice. Add the salmon fillets in a single layer, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Flip the salmon, re-cover, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Scatter the snow peas around the salmon, submerging them in the liquid, re-cover the pan, and cook until the snow peas are bright green and the salmon is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat.

Transfer the salmon to warmed dinner plates or shallow pasta bowls. Stir the lime juice, green onions, and cilantro into the curry sauce. Spoon the curry sauce and snow peas around the fillets, dividing the sauce and peas evenly. Serve immediately.

Elyse Kopecky is a whole foods chef currently co-authoring a cookbook for runners, Run Fast Eat Slow, with Olympic marathoner and longtime friend, Shalane Flanagan. After 10 years working for Nike and EA Sports, Elyse decided to pursue her passion for talking and writing about food. She went to NYC to study culinary nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute and has taken cooking classes throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Sign-up for sneak peeks of Shalane and Elyse’s book at or follow along @ElyseKopecky.

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6 Responses to “Foodist Approved: Green Curry Braised Salmon Recipe”

  1. Sarah says:

    Do you have a brand of curry paste that you prefer?

  2. Jenna says:

    Great recipe. I’ve been on my weight loss journey for a few months now, actually read a personal review about strength training and it has been a solid plan. I couldn’t have been more excited about the results, I am now 40 pounds lighter than when I first started. This site was very helpful to me — if you want to check it out yourself you can read it here [link removed]

  3. Kendra says:

    Awesome recipe, Elyse! Not sure about the cilantro though. I love it, but my husband says it tastes like soap. Are there any good alternatives that we could both enjoy?

  4. Wendy Laubach says:

    I’m an avid fan of both salmon and Thai curries, so I’ll need to try this. We often make a similar duck curry dish. For some reason I never thought of it with fish; I usually poach my salmon with a few cherry tomatoes and some preserved lemons.

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