Thai Green Curry with Salmon

Thai Green Curry with salmon

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of my dinner on our Facebook page because it looked so lovely I wanted everyone to see it. Quite a few people asked for the recipe, so here it is. It is unusual for me as I am a bit of a purist when it comes to green curry I always go with chicken, but this worked really well.

I learned how to make green curry years ago on a cooking course in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. Our teacher told us that this paste recipe belongs to his family so I guess it is traditional to the area. I have never changed it because I absolutely love it and never tire of eating it. It is like all the best Thai food, fresh, hot and kind of punches you in the mouth.

I should say now that it is a bit of hard work. It takes about 45 minutes of bashing with a pestle and mortar which is more than a lot of people can stand. It should only be attempted using a good quality pestle and mortar; wooden ones are no good for this.

Green Chicken Curry was one of the most popular dishes on the menu in my restaurant in Peru. A Thai customer (hello June) asked me how we made it and when I told her we made our own curry paste she could not believe it. She told me even in Thailand nobody makes their own curry paste, they just buy one and augment the flavours to suit their own tastes. So, don’t feel bad if the idea of making it does not appeal, you can substitute a shop-bought paste and follow the second-half of the recipe.

I have never achieved the same fragrance buy using a shop bought curry paste, but as I said I am a stickler. Also I bet the sell better curry paste in Thailand. Becky makes a yellow curry paste with a food processor. It is pretty good but doesn’t achieve the same blend of flavour as the ingredients are chopped small but they are not a paste. For me it’s just not quite there.

Curry paste is a great ingredient to have ready in the fridge and keeps for a month or so. I use it to stir-fry noodles and veg, in soups, fishcakes, marinades and also in viciously hot Thai salads.

ingredients for green curry paste

Beautiful fresh ingredients

If you don’t make the paste this recipe is really fast and easy. It came about because it was one of those grey, cold summer days we get too many of in England. I had bought the ingredients to make a salmon salad for dinner but when the time came I just couldn’t face eating a salad. I had some curry paste in the fridge and so this is where the ingredients ended up.

I have called it a seasonal green curry as it uses some classic English summer ingredients, peas, runner beans and pea shoots. These add a lovely sweetness and a bit of texture to the dish. It would also be great with other types of fish or seafood, whatever you have available.

Seasonal Green Curry with Salmon

For the Curry Paste (should make about 5-6 tablespoons of paste)

  • 12 green Birdseye chillies (or any other really hot chilli)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
  • 1tsp roasted coriander seeds
  • 2 inch piece galangal (or regular ginger)
  • 1 inch piece of turmeric root (or ½ tsp turmeric powder)
  • 2-3 stalks lemongrass (about 2 tbsp when sliced)
  • 1 tbsp sliced coriander root
  • 10-15 coriander leaves
  • 2 lime rinds (or 1 rind if using kaffir limes)
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste

1. Add the ingredients one by one to the mortar and pestle in the order they appear above and smash the hell out of them – easy.

Chillies and salt for curry Paste

Start with the chillies and salt

2. Start with the chillies and salt together as the salt helps break them down.

Galangal in thai green curry p

add sliced galangal

3. The paste is ready when it is a uniform colour and you can’t see any of the individual ingredients.

Thai Green Curry Paste

The end result should look uniform. Mine is a little yellow due to a turmeric accident!

For the curry (serves 4)

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 8 runner beans
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 4 green chillies – bruised (Don’t add these if you want a milder curry, it is going to be pretty hot without them)
  • 4 level tbsp green curry paste
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1-2 tbsp palm sugar (or any sugar you have available)
  • 3-4 tbsp fish sauce
  • Fresh coriander leaves and pea shoots to garnish

Cubes of salmon

1. Prepare everything in advance, once you start this will be ready in less than 10 minutes. Chop the salmon into uniform sized cubes so they cook at the same time. Bruise the chillies, finely chop the lime leaves and juice the limes. Take the peas out of the freezer or shell them if you are using fresh ones.
2. Finely slice the runner beans (2mm thick) and blanch them in boiling water until they are cooked to your liking. Drop them into some cold water until you are ready to add them to the curry.Coconut milk, paste, chillies , lime leaves
3. Empty the cans of coconut milk into a wok or saucepan and begin to heat it gently.
4. Add the curry paste, lime leaves and chillies, mix well and bring the mixture to a very gentle boil for a couple of minutes to cook the ingredients in the paste.
5. At this point the seasoning and balance of flavours needs to be achieved. Add some of the fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice and taste. Adjust these ingredients until you achieve a balance you like between the sweet, salty, sour and hot.
6. When the sauce is exactly as you like it add the salmon and let the curry come back to the boil.
7. Add the runner beans and peas and when these are hot the curry is ready.
8. Garnish with coriander and the pea shoots.

And you’re done! A delicious Thai Green Curry with Salmon.

Thai green curry with rice

Enjoy with rice.

Seasonal Green CurryBy Sally

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16 responses to “Thai Green Curry with Salmon

  1. Outrageous! My curry recipe is delicious! And you don’t have to have strong arms to make it either 🙂

    Love this recipe, thanks for sharing. I’ve always wanted to know your secret curry paste. Now, what about those of us who don’t like fish – is the method the same with chicken?

    Love you! Bex xx

  2. Your curry recipe is delicious but I like mine better, sorry.
    Same method with chicken just make the sauce and add whatever you like. The great thing about this sort of Asian food is that you can play with the flavours as you make it or at then end. In Thailand the restaurants always have pots of chilli, lime, fish sauce and sugar on the table so that everyone adjusts the dish to their own palate – I love that.

  3. Oh yes I remember our conversation back in Cusco! Happy times 🙂 your curry looks good actually, Sally. And I agree with the bashing in a mortar, somehow it just extract more aroma. If you are going to do, mortar and pestle it all the way 😀 well done, this looks delicious (this is huge coming a fussy Thai eater). Though where are the Thai basil leaves? 😉

    • Wow June I am so pleased you like it – fussy as you are! There are no Thai basil leaves as I live in Yorkshire – I was amazed I got galangal & lemongrass, the world is slowly arriving here.

      • I was amazed to see those too! (hence I was wondering about the Thai basil since you could get the other two herbs).
        Fussy easters are tomato/mushroom haters, I am not fussy – I eat everything, as long as they are tasty ;D haha. Keep your posts coming!

      • it is so weird what you can get and can’t get in the shops here – way better than Cusco though. I actually got dizzy from having to make so many choices in the supermarket when I first got back.
        I also found fresh curry leaves when I got the galangal so I reckon the next post will involve those.

    • Ohh I love curry leaves but I also don’t use them enough. Would like to use them more so I look forward to your next post with them 😀 Any ideas of what you’re going to with them yet? Indian-ish theme?

      • Not sure but I love Sri Lankan curries with coconut milk & curry leaves so maybe one of those & I am going to search for something I have never made before to try out as I have loads of them. Will post something next week.

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  6. Hi Sally, We really want to make your green curry paste, any advice on ingredient shopping in Peru? Did you make any substitutes to accommodate for the almost non-existant selection in our markets? Loving your blog!!

    • Hola Lynda, we used to serve this in the restaurant as it is quite easy to get the ingredients or substitutes in Peru. The main thing is to get yourself some fish sauce. They used to sell imported stuff from Thailand & you should be able to find this in Lima no problem. We used a mixture of rocotto & aji limo to get good chilli heat. It is easy to get lemongrass but the quality varies through the year – it is best in rainy season. To compensate for the lemongrass we used loads of it, 5-6 stalks & more lime (limones) rind – 3-4 for each batch of curry paste. In the market you can ask for fresh coriander with roots, someone usually has it. You cant get shrimp paste but it does not matter too much as long as you have fish sauce – it is the key to Thai cooking.

      The most difficult thing was getting a good pestle & mortar as they are made from concrete they would break every few weeks – we did give them some hammer though!

      Hope this helps please fell free to ask more specific questions if you need. We are so glad you like the blog so let us know how it goes.

      Love to you & Jorge xx

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