You’ll love the flavors within this Coconut Curry Salmon dish that’s full of Caribbean flair. Perfectly seasoned salmon fillets pan-seared and combined with a robust, mega flavorful coconut curry sauce. This recipe here is so easy to whip up and you can pair alongside rice and/or veggies for an epic weeknight-friendly meal!

coconut curry salmon in yellow skillet with gold serving spoon on the side

Salmon is one of my weeknight go-to meals at least 1-2 times a week. In order to keep salmon exciting, I’m always looking for new ways to make salmon pop when developing recipes. Listen, if you love anything curried or coconut-y…you’ll love this coconut curry salmon. Real talk, I make it quite often and can’t believe it’s just now hitting the blog. Better late than never, amiright. I am, ha!

Caribbean Coconut Curry Salmon 😛

First, this recipe has majorrr West Indian flair all over with big, bold flavors in abundance. We’re using Caribbean-style curry powder to really deliver signature West Indies goodness. This 1-pan recipe starts with pan-seared salmon and then we’ll develop a super flavorful, creamy coconut curry sauce that’s loaded with sautéed onions + peppers and fragrant aromatics. It’s all so very good!

⇢ Whether it’s my brown stew chicken, this oxtail stew, tasty beef patties, or my curry chicken (gahhh, this recipe tho!); I’m forever obsessed with dat Island-centered cuisine…heck, my sorrel tea is made on the regular, too ♡

coconut curry salmon with white rice in speckled bowl

Let’s Talk Ingredients For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Salmon: I grab skinless salmon fillets from the grocery store. You can also buy a whole slab of salmon and just cut it into fillets yourself, too. And I do recommend skin-off salmon for this specific recipe.
  • Spices: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and allspice.
  • Caribbean-style curry powder: You can find this style of curry powder at your local Caribbean/West Indian or Latin market. I personally recommend the Betapac or Chief brand of Caribbean-centered curry powder. More on West Indian curry powder further below.
  • Butter & olive oil: For marinating + cooking this recipe.
  • Bell pepper & onion: Classic elements in curried dishes, check.
  • Garlic: This ingredient needs to be in every recipe if you ask me.
  • Ginger: Love the fragrant punch of fresh grated ginger here.
  • Fresh thyme: For some nice herb-y goodness, love to see it.
  • Coconut milk: Full-fat coconut milk is the heart of the saucy vibe in this coconut curry salmon recipe. It’s flavor and richness is *chef’s kiss.*
  • Scotch bonnet pepper: For flavoring, we’re using just one pepper that’ll go into the pan whole (not cut open!)- trust, you don’t want that 😆❌
ingredients for coconut curry salmon laid out on baking sheet

Coconut Curry Salmon Recipe Highlights 🤩

Here’s some main highlights about this coconut curry salmon recipe, y’all:

  1. ONE-PAN WONDER…This entire dish whips up in 1-skillet, rejoice! That’s right, the salmon gets pan-seared and then set aside while you prepare the coconut curry sauce. Afterwards, the salmon gets added back into the skillet to become one cohesive dish with that scrumptious sauce.
  2. FLAVA FLAVEEEEE…The thing I loveeee about my culture, we don’t play around when it comes to super flavorful meals and all things food. This coconut curry salmon is beaming with MEGA flavor from allspice, garlic, ginger, and the biggest star, curry!
  3. EASY & QUICK…If you love a simple yet delicious homemade dish, this one is your new friend. The whole thing comes together so easily and it’s ready in under 45 minutes. It pairs so well with a quick side for a filling meal.

⇢ Just like my jerk meatballs (also in coconut curry sauce btw!), this coconut curry salmon is elegant but straightforward for a swift and scrumptious meal. Which is a recipe favorite among the BBR-reader community and I feel you! 🙌🏾

Let’s Chat Curry Powder

If you grab a jar or bottle of curry powder from the pantry of different folks all over the world, you’ll end up with very different blends. Just like how our culture’s differ from one another, so do our spices. The curry spice has much nuance to it with a huge influence in Indian, Jamaican, and Asian cuisine.

Caribbean-style curry powder leans more on the flavors of turmeric, fenugreek, coriander, thyme, pimento (allspice), cloves, and peppers. It’s vastly different from Indian-based or Asian-based curries. I recommend any traditional Jamaican curry powder, like Betapac, or Chief brand (Trinidad & Tobago).

closeup of coconut curry salmon in skillet

How To Make This Caribbean-Style Coconut Curry Salmon Recipe:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Prep & season. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the salt/pepper- to taste, 2 teaspoons curry powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika- stirring well. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the salmon and sprinkle the spice blend over the fillets. Use your hands to rub the spice blend into the salmon until evenly coated. Then set aside.
  2. Sear the salmon. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon and let sear, undisturbed, until the fillets achieve a deep, golden sear, about 2-3 minutes. Then flip the salmon to continue searing on the other side, about 1-2 minutes. Then set the seared salmon fillets aside onto a clean plate while you prepare the coconut curry sauce. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low.
  3. Burn curry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of curry powder, stir the spice into the oil. Burn the curry in the oil, stirring frequently, until the curry is fragrant and well-bloomed, taking on a deep, golden brown color.
  4. Sauté the aromatics & add spices. Add the butter, bell pepper, and onion into the skillet. Sauté the bell pepper and onion until translucent and softened. Then add the garlic, ginger, fresh thyme, and allspice. Continue cooking until the mixture is fragrant and well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk & simmer sauce. Then pour in the coconut milk and add scotch bonnet pepper (if using), stir everything together to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to a gentle simmer and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Then add the salmon fillets back into the skillet along with any residual juices. Spoon some of the sauce over the salmon and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes or so.
  6. Serve. Discard the scotch bonnet pepper. Serve this coconut curry salmon immediately alongside your favorite side dishes, if desired. Enjoy!
coconut curry sauce over sautéed salmon fillets in skillet

What Does “Burn Curry” Mean?

Great question! So, to burn curry simply means to stir it into the oil to bring out the flavors and bloom the curry spice. I always like to refer to how a recipe might call for you to toast nuts or spices. Doing so helps to unlock and release heaps of flavor. Burning the curry also contributes to a rich, deeply golden color when you build the sauce. It’s important to note that nothing is actually “burning” here, the terminology is more so a Caribbean reference.

⇢ When the oil is shimmering, toss in the curry, and use a wooden utensil to stir the curry into the oil. Keep stirring until the spice is fragrant and lightly browned- the whole process takes only about 30 seconds. Then proceed with sautéing the aromatics, the bloomed curry powder clings to everything and adds oomph with the entire dish soaking up all that big, bold curry flavor!

What To Serve With Coconut Curry Salmon

We love this saucy dish right over some jasmine rice, perfect pairing! Another honorable mention is my rice and peas recipe or any rice of your choice, too. Alternatively, you can serve alongside steamed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Or maybe some roasted potatoes or fried sweet plantains? Yum.

Storing Leftovers & Reheating

Make sure any leftovers are completely cooled and then transfer coconut curry salmon into an airtight container. Keep it stored inside of the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave until warmed through- you may need to add a splash of water or broth to help loosen the coconut curry sauce.

caribbean-style coconut curry salmon in yellow skillet with gold serving spoon on the side

This Caribbean-Style Coconut Curry Salmon has all the heart eyes! Just go on and add this one into ya rotation, boo. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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coconut curry salmon in yellow skillet with gold serving spoon on the side

Caribbean-Style Coconut Curry Salmon

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Caribbean
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Description

You’ll love the flavors within this Coconut Curry Salmon dish that’s full of Caribbean flair. Perfectly seasoned salmon fillets pan-seared and combined with a robust, mega flavorful coconut curry sauce. This recipe here is so easy to whip up and you can pair alongside rice and/or veggies for an epic weeknight-friendly meal!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 salmon fillets, about 56 ounces each, skin-off
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Caribbean-style curry powder, divided (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, de-stemmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Jamaican allspice
  • 1 (14 ounce/400ml) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, left whole- do not cut!- optional

Instructions

  1. Prep & season. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the salt/pepper- to taste, 2 teaspoons curry powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Stir the spices together to fully combine. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the salmon and sprinkle the spice blend over the fillets. Use your hands to rub the spice blend into the salmon until evenly coated. Then set aside.
  2. Sear the salmon. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the salmon into the skillet. Let the salmon sear, undisturbed, until the fillets achieve a deep, golden sear, about 2-3 minutes. Then flip the salmon to continue searing on the other side, about 1-2 minutes, or until your desired level of doneness is achieved. Then set the seared salmon fillets aside onto a clean plate while you prepare the coconut curry sauce. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low.
  3. Burn curry. Coat the bottom of the pan with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of curry powder. Use a wooden utensil to stir the spice into the oil. Burn the curry in the oil, stirring frequently, until the curry is fragrant and well-bloomed, taking on a deep, golden brown color- about 30 seconds.
  4. Sauté the aromatics & add spices. Add the butter, bell pepper, and onion into the skillet. Sauté the bell pepper and onion, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes- or until translucent and softened. Then add the garlic, ginger, fresh thyme, and allspice. Continue cooking, stirring every so often, until the mixture is fragrant and well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk & simmer sauce. Then pour in the coconut milk and add scotch bonnet pepper (if using), stir everything together to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to a gentle simmer and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Give the sauce a good stir and taste test- season with more salt/pepper, to taste. Then add the salmon fillets back into the skillet along with any residual juices. Spoon some of the sauce over the salmon and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes or so. Then remove from heat.
  6. Serve. Discard the scotch bonnet pepper. Serve this coconut curry salmon immediately alongside your favorite side dishes, if desired (we love pairing this dish right over some jasmine rice!). Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Caribbean-style curry powder: You can find this style of curry powder at your local Caribbean/West Indian or Latin market. I personally recommend the Betapac or Chief brand of curry powder.
  2. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.