Thai coconut rice with salmon

Thai coconut rice with salmon

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(45 ratings)

Ready in 1 hr - 1 hr 15 minutes


Serves 6
Sarah Randell serves up a summer one pot with big Thai flavours - great for relaxed entertaining

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal857
  • fat48g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs74g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre0g
  • protein38g
  • salt2.55g
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  • 20g pack of fresh coriander
  • 3 limes



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 2 x 400ml cans 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 –…

  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 25g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 90g jar Thai red curry paste (we used Bart's spices)
  • 500g basmati rice
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or freeze dried
  • 6 skinless salmon fillets, each weighing about 140g/5oz
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (we used Kikkoman's)
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 4 spring onions
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 1 plump red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • simple green salad, to serve


  1. You will need a wide-based shallow casserole about 30cm in diameter, or a deep-sided sauté pan, with a tight-fitting lid as the salmon needs to steam in a single layer. Pick the coriander leaves off the stalks, finely chop the stalks and put the leaves in a bowl. Grate the zest of one of the limes. Set aside. Pour both cans of coconut milk into a large jug, then fill one of the empty cans with cold water and stir this into the jug.

  2. Heat the oil and butter in the pan over a lowish heat, tip in the shallots and sizzle gently for about 5 minutes, stirring, until they start to turn golden. Stir the curry paste in and cook for another minute.

  3. Take the pan off the heat and add the lime zest, coriander stalks, rice and a heaped teaspoon of salt, then mix everything together until the rice is coated in the curry paste. (You can prepare this up to two hours ahead.)

  4. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the rice and stir. Bring to simmering point on a medium heat, stirring gently now and then. Get the spoon right to the bottom of the pan so the rice doesn’t stick to it. Scatter in the lime leaves and leave everything to simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

  5. Stir the rice once more, then lay the salmon fillets on top. Cover and leave to barely simmer over a very low heat for 15-20 minutes until the salmon looks cooked and the rice is tender. Cook everything very gently or you will have crunchy rice on the bottom and no liquid left.

  6. While the fish is cooking, juice two of the limes (the grated lime and another) and in a small bowl mix the juice with the soy sauce and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Trim the spring onions, then split lengthways and slice into thin strands on the diagonal. Mix the spring onions and chilli with the coriander leaves. Cut the third lime into six wedges.

  7. When the rice and fish are ready, take the pan off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes. To serve, scatter a third of the coriander salad over everything in the pan. Spoon some coconut rice on each plate, then, using a fish slice, put a salmon portion on top. Drizzle with some of the soy and lime dressing and scatter a spoonful of the coriander salad on top. Give everyone a lime wedge to squeeze over it. Serve the remaining dressing if anyone wants extra, and a side salad.

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Comments, questions and tips

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koolk_2009's picture
6th Dec, 2019
Actually rather easy to make although it looks a bit complicated. I felt the rice was missing something, but when you put the dressing on it was lovely!
12th Nov, 2019
Really easy to make and simply delicious!
12th Nov, 2017
I made this for the first time last night as it had such great reviews. It's very tasty and agree with the ratings. I also agree with previous comments that the way the Method is written makes it sound complicated and confusing, when in fact it's really rather simple. So, for the sake of those that come after us, I've had a go at re-writing the method to suit myself and am sharing it here for anyone else that wants to use it. I've only made the dish once, so for those of you who have made it multiple times and could improve this, please do as I'll download it for myself: Method: Fry finely diced shallots in butter over medium heat until golden (approx 5 mins). Add curry paste and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and add zest of 1 x lime, finely chopped coriander stalks (leaves removed and placed in a bowl for garnish), the rice and 1 x heaped teaspoon of salt. Stir until rice is well coated in the curry paste (can be done up to 2 hours ahead). In a large bowl or jug, mix 2 x cans of coconut milk with one can of water. Pour coconut mixture over rice and stir. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring regularly to ensure rice doesn’t stick to bottom of the pan. Scatter in kaffir lime leaves and allow to simmer (uncovered) for 5 mins. Reduce heat to very low. Give the rice another stir then lay salmon over the top. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid and leave to barely simmer (covered) over a very low heat for 15-20 mins. ++ (see note about cooking times below) *** (Alternatively, the salmon can be cooked separately in a 220 degree oven on baking paper for 8-12 mins, depending on cooking preference).*** Allows you to deal with the rice separately. I prefer this. Dressing: While fish & rice are cooking, juice two limes and mix with soy sauce and sugar until sugar has dissolved to form a dressing. In a separate bowl mix sliced spring onions, finely diced chilli and coriander leaves (stalks were used in the rice). When the rice & fish are ready (may take between 25-40 mins as per other comments here), remove pan from heat and let stand for 5 mins. Remove salmon from pan then scatter 1/3 of the coriander/spring onion/chilli and mix through the rice. To serve, place rice on plate, top with salmon and drizzle some of the dressing on top, then garnish with remaining coriander/chilli salad. Add ¼ lime wedge to plate to squeeze over. Great accompanied with a side salad. ++ Rice may take up to 35-40 mins so test after 15-20 mins to see if cooked through. ++ May require additional liquid for rice so have some hot water to hand if required.
12th Nov, 2017
Won't let me split into short paragraphs ... apologies for the long-winded copy!
26th Feb, 2016
This is my favourite entertaining dish for salmon! Robust, deep flavours, a real chilli kick for those spice fans! I LOVE this recipe and haven't found any cookery book with such a recipe! Made it countless times
12th Aug, 2015
Delicious flavours in the rice, the recipe looks incredibly complicated but just read it through and you will see that it is, in reality, very simple. I was increasing the recipe so I just mixed the soy and limes, marinaded the salmon steaks and then baked them for 20 mins to go with the rice. I also mixed in the spring onions to the rice as didn't want them raw. My other comment would be that the rice took ages to cook, much longer than expected. Probably nearer 35 mins. Not sure why.
11th Aug, 2015
Delicious and easy. Agree that the method should be rewritten as it makes it sound so complicated when it's not.
5th May, 2015
absolutely gorgeous flavours
9th Feb, 2015
Loved it. Great easy dinner. But the method MUST be simplified as its way too complicated as its very simple and easy
22nd Oct, 2012
Am I the only one thinking this recipe is incredibly hard to follow, due to confusing explanation of the method? Don't get me wrong, the meal ended up wonderful even though I found use of limes rather excessive. I just think this recipe should be completely re-written and shortened. It was especially hard to check the steps mid-cooking when I wanted to check something quickly.


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