Poached Salmon in Coconut Lime Curry
with asparagus / snap peas / basmati rice
Poaching fish in aromatic broth infuses it with flavor and keeps the fish moist and tender. We include an extra step in this version to lightly sear the fish on one side. We find it's worth this extra step to give the fish a bit of texture while still gaining all the benefits of poaching.
Smarts: We used a 12 inch pan to cook 4 servings, which meant that the poaching liquid didn’t completely cover the salmon as it cooked. This kept the light sear on the salmon above the liquid, but don’t worry if you need to use a larger or smaller pan. Either way, you'll have tender salmon and a rich, flavorful cooking liquid to serve over rice.
- Ginger, fresh - 2 tsp, grated
- Shallots - 2 cloves, diced
- Lime zest - 2 tsp
- Lemongrass - 2 stalks, sliced into 2” / 5 cm strips and smashed
- Asparagus - 12 oz, trimmed and chopped into 2” / 5 cm lengths
- Salmon - 1 lb (look for skinless salmon filets if possible)
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Curry paste, green - 1 1/2 Tbsp (sub red curry paste)
- Brown sugar - 1 tsp
- Fish sauce - 2 tsp
- Coconut milk (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Stock, any type - 2 cups
- Snap peas - 12 oz (sub snow peas)
- Water - 1 3/4 cups
- Rice, uncooked basmati - 1 cup
- Make rice - (Double if making Tuesday’s meal.) Fill a saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then add rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn heat down to low, and cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Ginger / Shallots / Lime zest / Lemongrass - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Asparagus - Trimmed and chopped into 2” / 5 cm lengths. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Salmon - Rinse and pat dry. Season on both sides with some salt and pepper.
- Limes - Slice into wedges (you can use the same lime that you zested).
- Heat a large saute pan or Dutch oven with first part of oil over medium heat. Add salmon and sear one one side just until salmon releases easily from pan and is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. (Note: Salmon should not be cooked all the way through; it will finish in the broth. If your salmon is skin-on, sear the skinless side.) Transfer salmon to a plate and set aside.
- Return pan to heat and add second part of oil. Add aromatics (ginger, shallots, lime zest, and lemongrass) and saute for 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add in curry paste, brown sugar, and fish sauce and saute for 1 minute.
- Pour coconut milk and stock over aromatics, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer curry broth for 10 minutes to let the flavor develop.
- Remove the lid from the stock and add snap peas and asparagus to the pan. Nestle salmon, seared-side facing up, into broth.
- Cover pan and continue cooking until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender, 5 to 8 minutes more.
- Squeeze half the lime wedges into the broth. Taste broth and season with some more fish sauce (or some salt) if needed. Remove and discard lemongrass stalks.
- If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half if doubled).
- Serve salmon and broth in shallow bowls with rice. Add remaining lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!
This was phenomenal. I added kafir lime leaf to flavor the broth because I love that flavor. Crisping the salmon before putting in the broth added some nice texture. I added peas, carrots, and red pepper along with the asparagus and snow peas because it provided more color and crunch. Yummy!1 Helpful
Delicious, easy and fancy-feeling dinner. We’d use half the stock next time.0 Helpful
I made the paleo version and the family was all pleasantly surprised. We were admittedly skeptical but I am trying to eat more salmon and this is something I will make again. I might try some changes to the veggies, the asparagus was great but the snap peas were too big to eat easily.0 Helpful
This was SO Good. Followed the recipe except we didn’t have lemongrass. I loved it!0 Helpful
The flavors get a little overwhelmed by the liquid, would add more lemongrass or less liquid. Yummy though!0 Helpful
Used red curry paste. My 4 year old loved it as did my husband and I!0 Helpful
Made this three times with different veg and using both red and green curry paste. Huge hit each time.0 Helpful