No-frills saucy salmon curry with turmeric and coconut

Salmon curry served with shredded papaya on the side (optional).
Salmon curry served with shredded papaya on the side (optional). Photo: Katrina Meynink

I love how light this curry is. It's a cobble together of store-boughts combined with time for a more than respectable dinner. I love serving this with some green papaya for crunch. You could also add green beans and bok choy for the last minute of cooking or shred some cucumber for added freshness at the end. This will initially seem quite watered down and thin – don't panic – it thickens as it cooks and gives great opportunity for depth of flavour.


4 tbsp yellow curry paste (or red curry paste)

400ml can coconut cream

2 litres chicken stock

1 tbsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp white sugar

juice and zest of 1 large lime

1 tbsp tamarind concentrate combined with 1 tbsp water

6-8 makrut lime leaves

500g salmon fillets

To serve

steamed coconut rice

Thai basil



cispy fried shallots


1. Place a deep non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and starting to split. Turn the heat down and add the coconut cream. Stir to incorporate then add the stock, turmeric, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and lime juice and zest as well as the tamarind liquid.

2. Lightly crush the makrut lime leaves in your hands to release the oils before adding to the mixture. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. You want the liquid to have reduced by at least a third and to have thickened to your liking.

3. Add the salmon fillets and cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes. If adding any green vegetables, add these for the last minute of cooking so you retain their glorious crunch.

4. Serve with steamed rice, fresh herbs and fried shallots.

Correction: The original version listed 3 litres of stock, this has since been revised down to 2 litres.