Coconut fish curry

Coconut fish curry

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(96 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
This colourful hake and prawn one-pot has Thai and Indian inspired flavours and is quick enough for midweek - ready in under 30 minutes

Nutrition and extra info

  • sauce only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal412
  • fat24g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre2g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.7g


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 small red chilli, shredded (deseeded if you don't like it too hot)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, split, then bruised with a rolling pin
  • 1 heaped tbsp medium curry powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • small bunch coriander, stems finely chopped
  • 400g can coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 450g skinless hake fillets, cut into rectangles, roughly credit card size
  • 220g pack frozen raw whole prawns (we used Big & Juicy Tiger Prawns, which are sustainably fished)



    There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…

  • 1 lime, halved



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • cooked rice, to serve



    Rice is a grain, the seed of a type of grass, which is the most widely grown and the most…


  1. Heat the oil in a wide, lidded frying pan, then soften the onion for 5 mins. Increase the heat a little, stir in the ginger, garlic, shrimp paste, chilli and lemongrass, and cook for 2 mins. Add the curry powder and sugar, and keep stirring. When the sugar starts to melt and everything starts to clump together, add the coriander stems, coconut milk and 2 tbsp water, then bring to a simmer.

  2. Add the fish to the sauce, tuck the prawns in here and there, then squeeze over half the lime. Pop on the lid and simmer for 5 mins more or until the hake is just cooked and flaking, and the prawns are pink through. Taste for seasoning, adding a squeeze more lime to the sauce if you like. Scatter over the coriander leaves and serve with rice.

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Comments, questions and tips

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30th Jun, 2020
No water needed. Added a few teaspoons of fish sauce (good sub for salt in thai dishes), it gives it depth.
Suzie Ooi's picture
Suzie Ooi
6th Jun, 2020
Great quick easy and delicious. No need to add the water though as the sauce is soupy. However the flavour and colour of this dish are real show stoppers and once you have prepped, the actual cooking is simple and quick. A great Saturday night dinner to impress!
20th Feb, 2020
This tasted lovely and wasn’t hard to make, but the smell of the shrimp paste almost made me not have it when it was ready. Strange how it tastes nothing like it smells. I wonder if fish sauce as a replacement to the shrimp paste would smell less. Or perhaps less paste. I couldn’t make this for friends, the smell would embarrass me and I know they’d be reluctant to eat!
May Losada's picture
May Losada
10th Nov, 2019
Really nice curry and very easy to do! I'd add a bit less sugar next time. I made it with some rice with okra, next time I'll add peppers to the curry
maggiebleksley's picture
11th Oct, 2019
This is probably my favourite fish recipe. Love it. I took some other people's advice and added peppers and tomatoes, which meant I didn't have to cook any vegetables to go with it, but I found the sauce was a little runny, because of their water content, so next time, if I add these, I'll leave out the 2 tbsp water.
Diane Smith's picture
Diane Smith
3rd Oct, 2019
Lovely recipe, I added cannellini beans which I simmered in water, garlic and thyme for 30 mins before adding along with the fish. Would use full fat coconut milk next time for a richer sauce
27th Aug, 2019
My family loved this. Works with any white fish. Couldn't get any paste so just used fish sauce and I just threw some peas in to up the veg content. Will be making this again and again and again!
14th Jun, 2019
This was really tasty the first time I made it, and even better the second time! Although I made a few changes second time round - I only had smoked haddock and small prawns this time, and added some peas (would've added mushrooms again if I had some). No shrimp paste so used a glug of fish sauce. Instead of fresh chilli, added some cayenne chilli powder. Really good - like a curried chowder. Definitely added to my list of recipes to make again!
Steve Chilton's picture
Steve Chilton
14th Jan, 2019
I've cooked this 4 times and will do it again tomorrow. I really, really like it. It's never exactly the same but I stick to the recipe about 80%. I use fresh peeled prawns. The chili element varies. I might go with one fresh chili or I might use a few chili flakes. I love to use hake when I can get it. Like others, I add an extra veg element. I think I might order that Shrimp paste on-line for next time but it will be fish sauce tomorrow.
14th Sep, 2018
This recipe is literally the best thing since sliced bread. Cooked this for myself and the Mrs, and it was so good! It was quick and easy. Next time I'm making sure I have double the ingredients because the above ingredients between 2 of us only lasted for 2 days. Will be cooking this again. Couldn't find shrimp paste, so used Fish sauce. Didn't any chilli's at home but used chilli powder instead and it worked fine!


maggiebleksley's picture
5th Apr, 2019
Should the prawns be thawed before putting them in or kept frozen?
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Apr, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can leave the prawns on the side while you're preparing the dish. It doesn't matter if they're a bit frozen when they go in as they don't take long to cook.
22nd Oct, 2015
Any suggestions for a starter and a dessert to go with this dish would be appreciated. Thanks.
21st Oct, 2015
What would be a good starter and dessert to accompany this coconut fish curry?
Paddy Colville's picture
Paddy Colville
29th Jan, 2018
I like to add lots of custard to this ;)
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