Easy and Delicious Thai Fish Curry

Thai Fish Curry in earthenware pot

The Spruce / Darlene Schmidt

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2-4 portions (2-4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
849 Calories
50g Fat
16g Carbs
83g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2-4 portions (2-4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 849
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 19g 95%
Cholesterol 221mg 74%
Sodium 1382mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 83g
Calcium 164mg 13%
*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 fast and easy it is—it's ready in about 20 minutes. Fillets of fish (any type, fresh or frozen) are simmered in a rich Thai curry sauce.

The recipe includes optional vegetables for a healthy one-pot dish. If you like, you can also add shrimp or other seafood to the pot or wok. Like most curries, this fish curry makes for excellent leftovers or hot lunches to take to work. We like making this curry with salmon, but other types of fish work well too.


  • Curry Sauce: 
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander stems and leaves (chopped)
  • 1 can good-quality coconut milk
  • 4 green onions (sliced, including green stem)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece galangal (grated)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon regular 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
  • Other Ingredients: 
  • 2 to 3 makrut lime leaves, left whole
  • Handful of fresh mushrooms (sliced), (optional)
  • 1 cup green beans (sliced), (optional)
  • 3 to 4 fillets or steaks of fish, any type (we used salmon)
  • 1 medium tomato (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice or lemon juice (optional, to taste)
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • Lemon wedges or lime wedges for garnish (optional)
  • Thai jasmine rice (for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place all ​of the Thai curry sauce ingredients in a food processor, chopper, or blender. Process well to form the curry sauce. If you can't find galangal (available in most Southeast Asian markets), ginger is a fine replacement. 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 red chile is too spicy for you, or you simply don't have it on hand, you can use any of these: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chile, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of chili sauce.

  3. Pour sauce into a wok or large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. If you have makrut lime leaves, add them too. If you can't find makrut lime leaves, 2 to 3 bay leaves also work well. Bring sauce to a gentle boil.

  4. Add mushrooms and green beans (if using). Stir well. Reduce heat to medium-high or until the sauce is simmering nicely. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables have softened.

  5. Gently stir in the fish and tomato. Continue simmering (covered) for another 2 to 3 minutes or until fish is flaking and cooked to your liking.

  6. Do a taste test for flavor, adding more fish sauce if not flavorful or salty enough. If too sour for your taste, add a little more sugar. If too salty or sweet, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice or lemon juice.

  7. Spoon the fish with curry sauce and vegetables into a serving bowl or serve straight from the wok. Sprinkle with coriander and garnish with lime or lemon wedges if desired.

  8. Serve with Thai jasmine rice and enjoy.