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Salmon red curry

(Chu chi salmon)


30 mins

Super Easy

In my home town in northern Thailand, salmon is unheard of. We used to fish for catfish in small lakes surrounded by jungle. Things were different in Hong Kong, where salmon was a popular fish with the British expats. The first time I tasted it, I was hooked. I couldn’t help thinking that the oily soft flesh and subtle flavour would be perfect in a curry. When cooking this dish, try to keep sweet and salty in perfect balance.


Rosas Chu Chi Salmon


  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste

  • 250ml (8fl oz) coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar

  • 2 salmon steaks, about 150g (5oz) each

  • Steamed rice, to serve

  • To garnish:

  • 1 lime leaf, shredded

  • 1 red spur chilli, sliced

  • 5cm (2 inch) piece of lesser galangal, thinly sliced lengthways

  • Thai basil leaves, shredded


  1. To make the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok set over a medium heat and sauté the curry paste until it is fragrant.
  2. Add 200ml (7fl oz) of the coconut milk, the fish sauce and the palm sugar and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring continuously, for about 3 minutes until the oil from the curry paste starts rising to the top and the mixture is smooth and thick.
  4. Add almost all the remaining coconut milk (you want to save a tablespoon for garnish). Bring to the boil again. The sauce should now have a perfect balance of spicy, salty and sweet.
  5. Reduce the heat to low.
  6. Clean the salmon, pat dry with kitchen paper and pan-fry in the remaining vegetable oil until cooked to your liking.
  7. Place the salmon steaks on plates and pour over the curry sauce. Top with the lime leaf, chilli, galangal and basil and pour over the reserved coconut milk.
  8. Serve with steamed rice.


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