Thai Fish Curry

Thai Fish Curry in a bowl with rice and lime

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
536 Calories
24g Fat
38g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 536
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 19g 97%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 1099mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 29mg 147%
Calcium 135mg 10%
Iron 9mg 51%
Potassium 1515mg 32%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This fish curry tastes so delectable that you won't believe how easy it is to prepare and that it's ready in just 20 minutes. Pieces of fish are simmered in a rich Thai curry sauce full of flavor, along with mushrooms, tomatoes, and green beans. Feel free to sub in other vegetables like peppers or broccoli, if you like, and you can also add shrimp or other seafood to the dish. Like most curries, this fish curry makes for excellent leftovers or hot lunches to take to work.

Almost any type of fish can be used in this recipe, whether fillets or steaks, fresh or frozen. Choose a white fish like cod, halibut, red snapper, swordfish, tilapia, or trout; salmon is also delicious in this curry. If the fillets are thin, cut into larger pieces so the fish doesn't break apart while cooking.

Ingredients

For the Sauce: 

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, stems and leaves

  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk

  • 4 green onions, sliced, including green stems

  • 1 thumb-sized piece galangal or ginger, grated

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar, or more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste

  • 1 fresh red chile, minced

For the Curry: 

  • 2 to 3 makrut lime leaves, left whole

  • Handful of fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 cup green beans, sliced

  • 3 to 4 fillets or steaks of fish, any type such as salmon, halibut, or red snapper, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 medium tomato, cut into small pieces

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or lemon juice, or to taste

For Serving:

  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves

  • Lemon or lime wedges

  • Thai jasmine rice

Steps to Make It

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the curry sauce ingredients.

    Thai Fish Curry ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Place all ​of the Thai curry sauce ingredients in a food processor, chopper, or blender. Process well until a thick sauce forms.

    Thai curry sauce ingredients in a food processor

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Make the Curry

  1. Gather the curry ingredients, as well as the curry sauce.

    curry ingredients prepped in separated bowls

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Pour the sauce into a wok or large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. If using makrut lime leaves, add them now. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.

    curry sauce in a pan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Add the mushrooms and green beans and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

    curry sauce with vegetables in a pan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Gently stir in the fish and tomato. Cover and continue simmering for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the fish is flaking and cooked to your liking.

    fish and tomato with curry sauce and vegetables in a pan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Do a taste test for flavor, adding more fish sauce if not flavorful or salty enough. If too sour, add a little more sugar; if too salty or sweet, add the fresh lime juice or lemon juice.

    add fish sauce to the curry in the pan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Spoon the curry into a serving bowl or serve straight from the pan. Sprinkle with coriander and garnish with lime or lemon wedges if desired. Serve with Thai jasmine rice and enjoy.

    Thai Fish Curry in a pan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Tips

  • If you can't find shrimp paste, feel free to substitute 1 extra teaspoon of fish sauce (in addition to the 2 tablespoons already called for in the recipe).
  • If you can't find makrut lime leaves, 2 to 3 bay leaves also work well.

How to Store

The fish curry will last up to 2 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. Reheat gently so as not to cook the fish any further and dry it out.