Simple Coconut-Curry Salmon

Simple Coconut-Curry Salmon

Well, it’s been a rough few days in our Big Apple Curry house here in Harlem. We’ve all fallen sick and our 4-year old Liam has strep throat. It’s literally twelve days before Christmas and we had the first snowfall of the season this weekend, but we’re not really feeling that festive. We forced ourselves to take a walk for some much-needed fresh air and we pulled out our Christmas decorations, but we’re not really in the Christmas spirit yet.

First snowfall of 2017 in Harlem

First snowfall of 2017 in Harlem

After several days of chicken noodle soup and not much else, I forced myself to cook something homemade and comforting this evening. We always keep a big bag of frozen wild-caught Pacific sockeye salmon in the freezer, because it’s a healthy way to get weeknight dinners on the table fast. Sean had put out a few fillets to defrost this morning.

Wild Sockeye Salmon

We get our groceries delivered from FreshDirect every Saturday morning; items like high quality frozen salmon fillets are a go-to for weeknight dinners (Photo Source:

I got online to search for a simple (and quick) salmon recipe with coconut milk. My goal was for something more hearty and filling than chicken noodle soup, but soothing at the same time. I came across this Kraft recipe called “Coconut-Curry Salmon” and it looked like I already had most of the ingredients…or so I thought. The recipe calls for cream cheese, but we had run out.  I know, cream cheese in a curry? I thought the same thing. Anyway, I spied a new package of goat cheese in the fridge, took a breath, and pulled it out. Goat cheese, while smooth, is more tangy than cream cheese, but I was impatient and didn’t want to run to the corner store. I figured I would take the plunge with the goat cheese and fix the recipe later, as I needed to. With a few extra dashes of this and that and some Big Apple Curry touches, the end result was exactly what we wanted. Simple, comfort cooking: curry-lime brushed salmon fillets in a silky coconut milk curry with bits of stewed tomato, tender green beans and bell pepper. I like adding vegetables to dishes like this, and I already had steamed green beans on hand but you can add any vegetables you like. What was the verdict? Sean loved the dish. Liam liked the dish, although he’s become quite picky lately, so after a few bites he said “Mommy, can I have some plain rice, please?” This recipe isn’t fancy but the end result is an easy, wholesome dinner that I will definitely make again soon.

Simple Coconut-Curry Salmon

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together goat cheese, coconut milk, cumin powder, red crushed pepper, and one teaspoon of the curry powder until smooth.

Salmon fillets

After your oven is preheated, in a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of curry powder with the juice of one lime. Brush the entire contents of the bowl on four salmon fillets. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Simple Coconut-Curry Salmon

Once your coconut curry sauce is complete, add the salmon fillets…

Simple Coconut-Curry Salmon

…and top with freshly chopped cilantro

Toddler eating Coconut-Curry Salmon

Our 4-year old Liam, digging in to his dinner. For kids, I recommend cutting up the salmon and mixing it with the plain rice in a bowl and serving the green beans on the side, which they can eat with their fingers.

Toddler eating coconut curry salmon

Like many kids, Liam has become picky lately, which they all do at some point; after making a decent attempt at the dish, he did ask me for “plain rice, please, Mommy!”

Simple Coconut-Curry Salmon

Serves 4


  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk, well shaken
  • 5 oz. goat cheese, cubed, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder, divided (1 teaspoon for salmon and 2 teaspoons for curry)
  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets (1 lb.)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 8 oz. green beans, cooked
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt (and to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add coconut milk, goat cheese, cumin powder, crushed red pepper, and 1 teaspoon of curry powder. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Generously spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; place salmon, skin-sides down.
  4. In a small bowl, mix lime juice and 1 teaspoon curry powder; brush onto salmon fillets.
  5. Bake salmon for 8 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and sauté until glossy; then add bell peppers and tomatoes; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cooked green beans, remaining teaspoon of curry powder, and salt; heat through for 5 minutes, combining gently.
  7. Stir in coconut mixture and brown sugar. Cook 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently.
  8. Remove salmon from oven. Add to skillet and top with fresh cilantro.
  9. Serve immediately over steamed rice.

Recipe adapted from Coconut-Curry Salmon