As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some recipes may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

This aromatic and delicious Thai salmon curry is a perfect choice for a quick and healthy weekday dinner. It is tray-baked and ready to serve in under an hour.

The salmon fillets, without the skin, are gently poached in a red curry coconut sauce. Along with the tender stems of broccolini and vibrant red peppers, it is infused with a myriad of aromatic ingredients, creating a truly authentic Thai dish.

The crispy skin of the salmon is prepared under the grill, giving it a tantalizing texture that adds a satisfying crunch. You can crumble the skin or serve it whole as a garnish, enhancing the presentation of the dish.

To complete the meal, serve it over a bed of steamed rice, accompanied by plenty of fresh spring onion greens, fragrant coriander, and tangy lime wedges.

Several assemble stuffed aloo potato dosas.
How to make Thai Red Curry Paste

Curious to know how to make your own Thai red curry paste? Not only is it naturally gluten-free, but also lower in salt and preservatives, not to forget how inexpensive it is to have your homemade supply to make delicious, quick curries, snacks and soups.

There are four steps to get a smooth paste:

 

  1. Snip the dried chilli peppers and place them in a coffee grinder. If you don’t have one, use a mortal & pestle. This will be labour-intensive but will get the job done after 20 to 30 minutes of pounding and crushing.
  2. Crush the chilli until it resembles chilli powder.
  3. Transfer the chilli to either a handheld stick blender container or a food processor (the smaller the better). Process with all the ingredients listed except the shrimp paste/miso paste & oil until it appears pulpy and broken down.
  4. Add the shrimp paste/miso paste with ½ tbsp of oil to the pulpy mixture and blend thoroughly. Gradually add the remaining oil and blend in until the paste appears smooth and shiny. Add more oil if needed, otherwise, add a few drops of very cold water to create that smoothness.
About the Red Curry Paste Ingredients
Dried Red Chilli Peppers

chillis used to make Thai red curry paste

When it comes to creating a delicious curry paste, the long-dried red chillis found in Asian supermarkets are a great choice. However, if you’re looking to add more heat and a richer colour to your dish, opt to add some Mexican varieties like Poblano, Chipotle, Ancho, Red Serrano or Arbol.

For a spicier and more intense flavour, you can even use fresh Thai chilli peppers. 

Vegetables & Spices

For a well-rounded red curry paste, you’ll need a combination of flavourful ingredients. This includes red onion, fresh lemongrass, galangal (ginger makes a good substitute), coriander roots, and plenty of garlic.

Umami Ingredients

A key component of Thai red curry paste is shrimp paste. This pungent and salty paste, made from dried fermented shrimps, adds depth of flavour. A little goes a long way and a small container of it will season many curries and stir-fries for up to a year. Remember to refrigerate it in an airtight container and keep it away from foods that easily absorb odours.

For those who can’t find shrimp paste or have seafood allergies, white miso paste is a suitable alternative. While the smell is more pleasant, it’s important to note that miso paste, made from fermented soya beans, is not traditionally used to make authentic Thai red curry paste.

Citrus Notes

To achieve a well-balanced curry paste, it’s crucial to incorporate a sour element. This can be accomplished by adding the zest of a fresh lime and several kaffir lime leaves, which can typically be found in the frozen section of most Asian supermarkets. Kaffir lime leaves are a fantastic flavouring ingredient commonly used in Thai cuisine for both savoury and sweet dishes. If you have trouble finding them, using lime zest alone will still provide a delightful zing to your dish.

Several assemble stuffed aloo potato dosas.
Homemade is best!

We can all safely agree that homemade food is best. The beauty of this red curry paste is that, once made, it can be used immediately or stored in a glass jar in the fridge for up to one month.

You can successfully freeze curry paste by spooning it into ice cube trays. Once frozen, remove the frozen cubes and transfer them to a snap-lock bag. Keep frozen. When ready to use, grab one or two from the freezer to add to your curry. or whenever a recipe requires red curry paste.

Paste made, now onto the curry!

Gather and measure/chop the ingredients for the curry.

Your paste is ready to go, so here’s when everything comes together in under an hour and nothing is fried! Using an oven-tray add the coconut milk and red curry paste. Mix in well and cook for 5 minutes in the oven uncovered.

Next, add the aromatics listed and cook for another 10 minutes uncovered, followed by adding some fish sauce for that salty umami flavour, the skinned salmon and vegetables. Cover and cook for a final 15 minutes.

How to make crispy salmon skin

Garnish each serving with some crumbled crispy salmon skin, coriander leaves and some lime wedges. Serve immediately.

After removing the skin from the salmon fillet, pat dry with paper towels and transfer it to an oiled baking tray. For steps to remove skin, click on this recipe link.

Removing the salmon skin from the flesh with a knife

Sprinkle some salt over the skin and place it on the second highest shelf to bake for 10 mins or until crispy and golden. Check often to make sure it isn’t over-crisping.

Remove the skin from the tray and allow it to rest on paper towels or a rack to dry and crisp up more.

Remove the skin from the tray and allow it to rest on paper towels or a rack to dry and crisp up more.

An adobe photo of french onion soup

GOOD TO KNOW!

Did you know that Thai cuisine is not just about delicious food, but also about perfectly balancing the five distinct flavours? Every dish combines sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy flavours to create a harmonious explosion of taste. From tangy tom yum soup to fiery red curry.

Thai Salmon Curry

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
This aromatic and tasty Thai salmon curry is an easy & healthy weekday dinner, tray-baked and ready to serve in under an hour.
Curious to know how to make your own Thai red curry paste? Not only is it naturally gluten-free, but also lower in salt and preservatives, not to forget how inexpensive it is to have your homemade supply to make delicious, quick curries, snacks and soups.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 18 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Crispy skin cooking 10 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course, Oven Dish
Cuisine Healthy, South-East Asian, Thai
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Homemade Red Curry Paste (Prik Gaeng)

  • 8 dried long red or dark red chillies, seeded and chopped coarsely (adding some Mexican varieties work well here!)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed whole
  • 1 red onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1 fresh lemongrass stalk, white part only (refrain from using dried or powdered lemongrass)
  • 2 cm galangal, chopped coarsely
  • or
  • 1 tsp galangal powder
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 4 fresh coriander stems, without leaves
  • 1 tsp grated lime rind
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen (optional)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • or
  • ½ tbsp white miso paste (less salty and pungent than shrimp paste)
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil, add more if needed to create a smooth paste

Thai Salmon Curry

  • 4 salmon fillets with skin
  • 400 ml coconut milk, tinned or fresh
  • 3 tbsp store-bought or homemade red curry paste (recipe included)
  • 4 coriander stems, without leaves, chopped finely
  • 3 cm ginger piece, chopped finely
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, ends removed and bruised with the back of a knife but left whole
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, whole (optional)
  • 1 long red chilli, split but left whole (optional)
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free fish sauce
  • 1 small bunch of broccolini, ends removed
  • 1 red pepper/capsicum, sliced thinly
  • 2 spring onions, white part: only sliced for the sauce, green part: sliced to garnish

Crispy Salmon Skin

  • 4 salmon skin pieces removed from the fillet before cooking
  • Salt, to season the skin

To serve

  • green part of spring onions, sliced to garnish
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve
  • steamed white rice, to serve with

Instructions
 

Homemade Red Curry Paste (Prik Gaeng)

  • Using a coffee grinder or a mortal & pestle (this method will take a considerably long time), crush and break down the dried chilli peppers as finely as possible.
    Using a coffee grinder to crush the dried chilli peppers
  • Once the chilli peppers are finely crushed, transfer them to either a handheld stick blender or a food processor.
    Once the chilli peppers are finely crushed, transfer them to either a handheld stick blender or a food processor.
  • Process with all the ingredients listed except the shrimp paste/miso paste & oil until it appears pulpy and broken down.
    Process with all the ingredients listed except the shrimp paste/miso paste & oil until it appears pulpy and broken down.
  • Add the shrimp paste/miso paste with ½ tbsp of oil to the pulpy mixture and blend thoroughly.
  • Gradually add the remaining oil and blend in until the paste appears smooth and shiny. Add more oil if needed, otherwise, add a few drops of very cold water to create that smoothness.
    Gradually add the remaining oil and blend in until the paste appears smooth and shiny. Add more oil if needed, otherwise, add a few drops of very cold water to create that smoothness.
  • Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside at room temperature while preparing the curry.

Thai Salmon Curry

  • Gather and measure/chop the ingredients for the curry.
    Gather and measure/chop the ingredients for the curry.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  • Directly in an oven-proof casserole dish, mix the coconut milk with the red curry paste thoroughly.
    Directly in an oven-proof casserole dish, mix the coconut milk with the red curry paste thoroughly.
  • Cook uncovered for 5 mins in the oven.
  • Smash the lemongrass with the back of your knife and add this to the coconut mixture.
    Smash the lemongrass with the back of your knife
  • Add the remaining aromatics: chopped coriander stems, ginger, kaffir leaves and split chilli.
    Add the remaining aromatics: chopped coriander stems, ginger, kaffir leaves and split chilli.
  • Cook uncovered for 10 mins in the oven.
    Cook uncovered for 10 mins in the oven.
  • Drizzle the fish sauce in and mix well.
  • Add the broccolini, red peppers and spring onions (white part only) to the coconut sauce.
    Add the broccolini, red peppers and spring onions (white part only) to the coconut sauce
  • Lastly, add the salmon fillets, ladling the sauce over the salmon and vegetables.
    Lastly, add the salmon fillets, ladling the sauce over the salmon and vegetables.
  • Cover with foil and cook for 15 mins.

Crispy Salmon Skin

  • Remove the skin from the salmon fillets. Pat the skin dry with paper towels and transfer to an oiled baking tray. Sprinkle some salt over the skin. For steps to remove skin, click on this recipe link.
    Remove the skin from the salmon fillets. Pat the skin dry with paper towels and transfer to an oiled baking tray
  • Place the baking tray with the salmon skin on the second highest shelf to bake for 10 mins or until crispy and golden. Check often to make sure it isn’t over-baking.
  •  Alternatively, turn the grill on and flip over often to get the same crispy result. Make sure to be attentive while grilling the skin as the fat can spit and ignite the grill if it is too close to the heat. Lower the tray to the shelf below and cook longer if preferred.
  • Remove the skin from the tray and allow it to rest on paper towels or a rack to dry and crisp up more.
    Remove the skin from the tray and allow it to rest on paper towels or a rack to dry and crisp up more.

Serving

  • Transfer the salmon curry to either small individual bowls or on top of some steamed rice.
  • Garnish each serving with some crumbled or whole crispy salmon skin, sliced spring onion greens, coriander leaves and some lime wedges. Serve immediately.
    Garnish each serving with some crumbled crispy salmon skin, coriander leaves and some lime wedges. Serve immediately.

Notes

Salmon curry
  • Keeps chilled for 2 days
  • Unsuitable to freeze
Red curry paste
  • Keeps chilled in a sterilised glass jar for one month
  • Suitable to freeze in small portions
Keyword gluten-free fish dish, naturally gluten-free, red curry paste, salmon dish, thai curry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Please mention @fun_without_gluten or tag #funwithoutgluten!
GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner