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Salmon red curry

Serves: 2

Cook time: 30 minutes

Authentic Thai cuisine

curries, fish, main

Difficulty: Super Easy

In my home town in northern Thailand, salmon is unheard of. We used to fish for catfish in small lakes surrounded by jungle. Things were different in Hong Kong, where salmon was a popular fish with the British expats. The first time I tasted it, I was hooked. I couldn’t help thinking that the oily soft flesh and subtle flavour would be perfect in a curry. When cooking this dish, try to keep sweet and salty in perfect balance.


2 1⁄2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red curry paste
250ml (8fl oz) coconut milk
2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 salmon steaks, about 150g (5oz) each
Steamed rice, to serve

To garnish:
1 lime leaf, shredded
1 red spur chilli, sliced
5cm (2 inch) piece of lesser galangal, thinly sliced lengthways
Thai basil leaves, shredded


  1. To make the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok set over a medium heat and sauté the curry paste until it is fragrant.
  2. Add 200ml (7fl oz) of the coconut milk, the fish sauce and the palm sugar and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring continuously, for about 3 minutes until the oil from the curry paste starts rising to the top and the mixture is smooth and thick.
  4. Add almost all the remaining coconut milk (you want to save a tablespoon for garnish). Bring to the boil again. The sauce should now have a perfect balance of spicy, salty and sweet.
  5. Reduce the heat to low.
  6. Clean the salmon, pat dry with kitchen paper and pan-fry in the remaining vegetable oil until cooked to your liking.
  7. Place the salmon steaks on plates and pour over the curry sauce. Top with the lime leaf, chilli, galangal and basil and pour over the reserved coconut milk.
  8. Serve with steamed rice.

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