Cashew Coconut Salmon Curry
Cashew Coconut Salmon Curry is an easy to make and crazy delicious fish curry recipe. The salmon is poached in a simple coconut Thai curry sauce that begs to be poured over steamed rice or cauliflower rice. It's a 20-minute dinner recipe everyone will love!
This coconut salmon curry recipe was updated in February 2020.
Remember those 7 Staple Whole30 Sauces? This salmon curry is based on one of those tasty sauces. Thai coconut curries are my idea of the perfect comfort food. This one, made with tender poached salmon, has been on heavy repeat here for the past few weeks. Guests rave about it and my three-year-old girl devours an adult-sized portion every time I make it. This one is a real winner!
Why you'll love this salmon curry
- Creamy coconut sauces are THE BEST! ← fully deserving of all caps.
- The extra creamy sauce thickens just right with the addition of cashew butter.
- The flavorful sauce begs to be sopped up with rice or cauliflower rice.
- You can easily make the sauce ahead of time. (Coming home to a nearly made dinner is awesome.)
- Salmon that stays nice and tender from being gently poached in the sauce.
- 20 minutes from start to finish.
- So delicious that you'd never guess this recipe is so good for you.
Salmon is my favorite fish to eat, but it can be a little tricky to cook as it becomes dry if overcooked even a little. The easiest way to make sure this doesn't happen is to gently poach the salmon. In this case, we poach it in Thai coconut curry.
Many years ago, I shared the post Perfect Poached Fish with you. Poached fish sounds tasteless, BUT it is a great way to make sure the fish you're cooking stays nice and tender.
The trick is to cook it over very low heat. I've given more detailed instructions in the Perfect Poached Fish post, but basically, you want only a few small bubbles rising in the cooking liquid. If the pan is boiling, turn down the heat!
The other option is to use Steelhead Trout, which is a lot like salmon only fattier. Fattier fish are easier to cook as they don't dry out as quickly as their lean cousins.
What makes this salmon curry sauce special
One thing you need to know is that this salmon curry is EASY. The curry sauce is a simple, coconut-based curry that is unbelievably flavorful. We start with Thai red curry paste and coconut milk then spice it up with garlic, ginger, lime juice, fish sauce, and coco aminos or soy sauce. We also sneak in some cashew butter.
I've used a little cashew butter in this curry for three reasons:
- It makes the salmon curry extra creamy.
- Adds extra healthy fats.
- When the sauce cooks, the cashew butter helps to thicken the sauce.
How to make this salmon curry recipe
Once you have your coconut curry, dinner is so close to being ready.
Now all you have to do is sear the salmon in a hot pan then pour the curry sauce over the top. Then simmer the salmon gently over medium heat for a couple of minutes to finish cooking it.
Remember to subscribe to THE ENDLESS MEAL'S NEWSLETTER for FREE to get healthy and delicious recipes each week + our cookbook!
Healthy Salmon Recipes
- 8 Minute Baked Salmon
- Lemon Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Sauce
- Pecan Crusted Salmon with Garlic Maple Glaze
- Slow Baked Chili Salmon
- Coconut Orange Poached Salmon
Cashew Coconut Salmon Curry
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 4 salmon fillets, skin removed
- Toasted or spicy cashews and some cilantro, to serve
Cashew Coconut Curry Sauce
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup canned coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons cashew butter
- Juice from ½ lime
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon each: fish sauce and coco aminos, can sub soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt, omit if using soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Optional: 1 tablespoon honey, omit for Whole30
- Begin by whisking the cashew coconut curry sauce ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.¾ cup water, ½ cup canned coconut milk, 4 tablespoons cashew butter, Juice from ½ lime, 2 tablespoons red curry paste, 1 tablespoon each: fish sauce and coco aminos, 2 teaspoons grated ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 cloves garlic, Optional: 1 tablespoon honey
- Heat the coconut oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Dry the salmon fillets well with paper towels then add them to the pan skinless side down. Let them cook for 5 minutes.1 tablespoon coconut oil, 4 salmon fillets
- Reduce the heat to medium then pour the curry sauce into the pan and cover the pan and let it cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir the thickened sauce. Serve topped with cashews and cilantro.Toasted or spicy cashews and some cilantro
I just made this for the second time. It is so delicious and easy to cook. Plus I love cashews. I’m going to serve my leftovers over thin Thai noodles as a change from rice. Thanks for the recipe.
This was absolutely delicious! One of my favorite salmon recipes ever!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I used cashew cream sauce instead of cashew butter (just thinner consistency is main difference I guess, and went pretty heavy on the red curry paste, definitely spicy!) Delicious 😋
Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! I only made two salmon fillets for me and my husband but I made the whole sauce recipe and boy am I glad I did. It was so tasty. We served ours over cauliflower rice. Didn’t add the optional honey or the salt (since we used low sodium soy sauce and it was plenty).
This was the perfect Sunday dinner recipe. Easy to make and turned out great!!
This was so delicious! Thank you for sharing!
I added pumpkin to the recipe for added sweetness but I loved the added cashews in this recipe for added creaminess too!
Unbelievably good, my kids still ask for it!
My family loves salmon so I’m always looking for new unique delicious ways to make it. This recipe was amazing & did not disappoint. It was packed with SO much flavour & was a huge hit. Thanks for this, it’s a keeper!
Could you repost the original recipe? My paper recipe of it got destroyed and I loved the original!
I just used the Wayback Machine and found this for you!
2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 salmon fillets, skin removed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (plus extra for the sweet potatoes, to taste)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 red pepper, diced small
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
THE CASHEW COCONUT CURRY SAUCE
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cashews*
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste (Whole30, if needed)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small garlic clove
1/2 tablespoon coco aminos (can sub soy sauce)
Place the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain the water, mash the potatoes, and season to taste with salt.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the rest of dinner. Place all the cashew curry sauce ingredients plus 1 cup of water in your blender and blend on high until smooth.
Sprinkle the paprika and salt over the top side of the salmon. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon, top side down, and sear for 3-4 minutes, or until they are golden. Remove the pan from the heat, lower the heat to medium, flip the salmon over, then pour the sauce into the pan. Put the pan back on the heat and cook for 4 minutes more.
Serve the salmon over the mashed sweet potatoes with the sauce, the red peppers, and cilantro over top.
Delicious flavors! To note though, I found that the sauce is very watery to begin with and it did not thicken up to an acceptable level within 3 minutes. I ended up taking the salmon out of the sauce so I could continue to thicken it, about 5 minutes more.. afterward, I played everything as described and it was very very good! We had it with rice and roasted broccoli.
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
This salmon will keep well for 3-4 days in the fridge. 🙂
This looks so good! It’s simple enough for a weeknight meal but tasty enough to make for guest!
Hi – can you cut the salmon up into chunks before you
cook it ?
If you would like smaller pieces, then yes you can do that. Salmon is very tender when it is cooked though so you’ll have to be careful that the small pieces don’t break apart.
Absolutely delicious! Subbed peanut butter for cashew butter and Vadouvan curry powder for red curry paste.
I can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you think it would be okay to marinate the salmon in the sauce prior to making?
I think that would work well!
Easy. Yummy. Fast. Nutritious.
Hi, do you think coconut butter would work as a good sub for cashew butter? Will it thicken the sauce still? Thanks! Looking forward to trying this out!
I’ve honestly never used coconut butter in cooking so I can’t say for sure. Even if you omit the cashew butter, it’s still a tasty recipe, just a lot thinner sauce.
So delicious! Fantastic recipe. My only confusion is that the instructions say to add the tuna “skinless side down” but your photo looks like it’s skin down. What’s the correct method?
Since I like to remove the skin from the salmon when making this recipe, I put the skinless side down – or the side that the skin was on before I removed it. Hope that clears things up!
Made it. It’s amazing.
How do I stop eating?????
Oh this recipe is so dope and tasty I had a successful dinner
Hi, is the sauce good to keep in a fridge or freezer for a period of time?
Yes! It will keep in your fridge for at least 5 days.
We have just eaten this for tea. I used tuna steaks, as I had them on hand and served them over riced-swede/ rutagaba. It was my first attempt at making a nut butter and I was stoked! I’ll definitely be making this again with salmon/ white fish/ prawns/ tempeh/ tofu. Thank you for sharing ?
You’re very welcome!
Can i sub the coconut milk with cashew cream? (Or combine coconut milk and cashew cream so its less coconut milk)
I wouldn’t use boxed cashew cream (the stuff that is a milk replacement). The cashew butter (like peanut butter) thickens as it cooks. You could omit it and the curry will still be delicious – just a little thinner.
How is the heat level on this recipe? I’m a little wary of using the red curry paste due to the spiciness, but if the other ingredients mellow it out a bit will definitely try it. Obviously yellow curry paste would change the dish a bit but thoughts on if it would still work?
Any type (green, red, or yellow) thai curry paste will use. Different brands vary widely in heat level so I suggest trying the one that you have first and adding less if you think it is too spicy.
Hello! I can’t wait to make this but I don’t have any cashew butter. Would you substitute with peanut butter or leave out all together? I have lots of actual cashew nuts. X
If you have lots of cashew nuts (and a high-powered blender) you could blend them to make cashew butter. Peanut butter would really change the flavor of this dish. The cashew butter helps to thicken the sauce so without it it will be a little thin. If you’re ok with it you can omit it and have a thin sauce. Or you could try adding a little cornstarch mixed with water at the end to thicken it. 🙂
Is there a way to substitute the salmon for a vegetarian option?
You could definitely make the sauce and use veggies and tofu instead. 🙂
Can I leave out the cashews altogether?
If you leave out the cashews, it will be quite thin. You may want to try cooking the sauce first so that it reduces a bit and then poach the salmon in the reduced sauce. 🙂
I was looking for a salmon recipe that wasn’t just baked salmon – that’s what I always make. So happy I found your recipe. The flavor was amazing. We served it with brown rice and carrots. Will make it again!
So happy to know that you love the recipe as much as we do!
Stuck at the moment without fresh ginger. I’m thinking I could sub in ginger powder. If so, what amount would you recommend?
I would start with a teaspoon. 🙂
I don’t understand why you have changed this recipe. We were so happy with it and now have to experiment again to see how many actual cashews to use! Also, why the fish sauce and ginger addition?
Hi Serena! The original version can be found here. It’s the Cashew Coconut Curry Sauce. The recipe was altered to make it easier to make since many people don’t have high powered blenders and cannot blend cashews. The fish sauce and ginger are great additions. If you make the original sauce, I recommend adding them. The flavor is great!
I agree. I wish the original recipe (instead of just the sauce) was still linked. Is there anywhere where the full original recipe is posted?
Unfortunately not. This version is really an improved version of the original.
Oh, I forgot to mention I left the skin on for searing (flesh side 1st so it won’t warp up), and also forgot to mention the red pepper flakes I added to the sauce from my last reply on your Cashew Coconut Salmon Curry recipe.
Thanks again Kristen, I look forward to your “The Endless Meal” emails.
Dave the foodie from Parksville, B.C.
Wow! Best ever!! I have to say; This was fantastic & a life saver. I had a very large & expensive sockeye salmon filet, thinly wrapped that I found in the back of my freezer that I forgot about. Using this recipe I was able to revive & get past the really “gross” freezer burnt flavor by cutting off the really badly burnt white parts and by 1st searing it in pieces in a combination of dark sesame & coconut oils.
Following the recipe for the most part but not being a fan of cashews “AT ALL” I used 4 Tbs. of Adams dark roast crunchy peanut butter, 1/2 cup of real lemon lime juice (all I have on hand), 3Tbs. store bought powdered curry (no paste left in fridge, surprised me), whole can of 3 year old expired thick coconut milk (taste tested 1st), 2 Tbs. fish sauce, a mix of 2Tbs. soy sauce & 1 Tbs. dark soy sauce, 4 Tbs. grated ginger (I keep in freezer), lots of garlic & honey. It was just great, loved it for 5 days, = very large filet.
“Yet another great recipe Kristen”, thanks.
I like the sound of your peanut butter version. It sounds delicious!!
This was OUTSTANDING! My partner calls it a “home run”. Definitely going into heavy rotation over here. Easy. Delicious. Perfectly cooked salmon. Thank you!
So happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe, Aliza!!
Looks delicious. We’re allergic to cashews. What other nut butter can be substituted?
I would opt for one with a neutral flavor. Macadamian would be nice I think!
Could almond butter be used instead?
I think that almond butter would work well!
Looks like a great recipe to cover up my large, expensive freezer burnt sockeye fillet. :=)
Haha well I hope it works! The sauce is really flavorful so I’ll cross my fingers that it will mask any freezer burn for you!
2 questions: 1. when searing the salmon …is it 2.5 minutes on each side? 2. Do you keep the heat at medium high after I pour the sauce in the pan to cook for the remaining 3 minutes?
Thanks, I’m excited to try it.
Hi Mary! I sear it for 5 minutes on one side. The reason the curry sauce isn’t added at the beginning is that it becomes too thick as the cashew butter cooks. And the heat should be turned down to medium once the sauce goes in. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. 🙂
This might just be the recipe that FINALLY convinces me to not only try salmon again, but maybe even like it! It sounds delicious. Im wondering if it would be good with cod or red snapper….
I haven’t tried it wit cod or red snapper but I think it would work well!
This recipe is incredible. My picky son loves it! I was wondering if it’s possible make more of the sauce and then freeze it.
Love hearing that!
This recipe is a keeper! I love the pairing with the sweet potatoes. Easy to prepare after a long day at work.
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for coming back to let us know!!
Would love to try this recipe but have a quick question. What kind of coconut milk do you use? Canned? Full fat?
Thank you !!
Yep … canned, full fat coconut milk! I usually buy Aroy-D because it doesn’t have any additives. 🙂
Sweet potatoes, salmon and coconut milk? I definitely died and went to heaven 🙂
It’s seriously so good!