This recipe for poached salmon in curried coconut milk is ready in under ten minutes and flavoured with ginger, garlic, lemongrass and curry paste.
Get dinner on the table in just ten minutes. I’m not kidding! This recipe uses a flavourful curried coconut milk to gently poach salmon fillets for tender, flaky and perfectly cooked salmon every time.
Have you tried poaching before? Poaching is a moist heat cooking technique, where food is submerged and cooked in a liquid, that is at a lower temperature than a boil or simmer. It’s ideal for cooking more delicate ingredients, like salmon.
How to poach salmon
The key to poaching any ingredient is to make sure that your temperature doesn’t get too high–you don’t want the liquid to boil as this will overcook whatever you’re making.
I’ve found that many people overcook salmon, but when you’re poaching it, if you keep it to five to six minutes and remove the fillets immediately when they are done, your salmon will melt in your mouth.
They other most important element for poaching is to have a flavourful poaching liquid.
For this poached salmon in curried coconut milk, I was inspired by Thai flavours like ginger, garlic and lemongrass to gently perfume the sweet coconut milk. The Thai red curry paste is where most of the flavour of this dish comes from, and it’s the perfect way to add a ton of flavour with really no effort.
I always have a jar of curry paste (green curry paste would also work in this recipe) in my fridge or pantry for quick weeknight meals like this.
I’ve made this recipe almost every week for the month of January and everyone I’ve shared it with has loved it. I actually did a demonstration of this recipe on my Instagram stories last week and have saved it as a highlight, so be sure to check that out when you’re cooking this recipe! I’ll take you step by step through every piece.
It all starts with heating garlic and ginger in a saute pan, then a tablespoon of red curry paste gets added to the aromatics. I like to caramelize the curry paste a bit to get some extra flavour going.
Next comes the coconut milk and the lemongrass, and then the salmon gets cooked in this liquid for five to six minutes.
Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that is commonly used in Asian and Indian cuisine. This poached salmon in curried coconut milk is definitely Thai-inspired, so that’s why I decided to add the delicate flavour of lemongrass to the poaching liquid.
How do you prepare lemongrass for poaching?
Lemongrass is a sturdy and woody herb which means you can’t just add it directly to the broth. The key is to cut trim off the silky tops and woody bases, and bruise the stalks to release their aromatic oils.
I use a rolling pin to smash the lemongrass before adding it to the curried coconut milk, and then remove the stalks when serving (or you can eat around them).
Poached Salmon in Curried Coconut Milk
- 4 fillets salmon, 4-6oz each or 113-170g (about 1” thick)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp canola oil, or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 398 mL can coconut milk
- 1 stalk lemongrass, wooden end trimmed and starchy outer layers peeled, bruised (smashed with a rolling pin to release the oils)
- Cilantro for garnish, optional
- Season salmon evenly with salt.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add oil, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds-1 minute. Stir in curry paste, and cook, stirring frequently for another minute.
- Pour in coconut milk, add lemongrass and stir to combine with curry paste. Coconut milk mixture should become pinkish in colour. Bring to a very low simmer, there should be one or two bubbles surfacing. Reduce heat to low.
- Carefully place salmon fillets, skin side up, into the coconut milk. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until salmon is fully cooked.
- Remove salmon from coconut milk. Discard lemongrass.
- Serve over rice with extra sauce and garnish with cilantro.
Let me know if you give this poached salmon in curried coconut milk a try in the comments below.