Salmon Poached in Coconut Milk with Chillies and Ginger

Serves: 4
Approx cost: €5
Approx calories (per serving): ~550
Approx preparation and cooking time: 40 mins

I just love fish. There’s something incredible about a really fresh, pink slab of salmon (something I will no doubt enthuse more over in about a month when I make my Gravlax to celebrate Swedish midsummer). Depending on where you live, and the season, you may find this dish significantly cheaper, or conversely, prohibitively more expensive. While my town just outside Paris isn’t exactly on the coast, the local supermarket has a very decent fish counter with some fabulous looking things there which I’m always itching to try, but can never stand the vast queue of people there.

Poaching the salmon in coconut milk ensures the delicate flavour is infused through the flesh, with a delicious tang from the ginger rubbed on top. Every now and again you’ll encounter a wonderfully spicy piece of chilli which will cut through the fatty flavour of the fish and coconut milk, but which won’t be too bad because the milk will subdue the spiciness. You may want to adjust the cooking time slightly – I, like some people, appreciate salmon most when it’s still deliciously pink in the middle, although this isn’t to everyones’ taste – as such, the instructions in this recipe should yield a result which is tender and flaky, but well-done throughout.


Salmon Poached in Coconut Milk with Chillies and Garlic ingredients

– 4 x 200g Fillets of fresh Salmon, preferably with the skin still on
– 1 x Leek
– ~300ml Coconut Milk
– 3 or 4 small Red Chillies
– 1 x knob of fresh Ginger


  1. Preheat your oven to around 150 degrees Celsius and then start by trimming the ends from the leek, slicing it to the middle lengthways and running under a tap to clean away any dirt. Chop finely and set aside. Peel the ginger and grate finely and then remove the tops from the chillies and cut down the middle. Remove any seeds and slice as finely as possible.

    Chopping the leeks and grating the ginger

  2. Take a baking tray and line with aluminium foil. Arrange some of the leek at the bottom. Rub the ginger carefully into the salmon and then place the salmon on top of the leeks already in the tray. Sprinkle any remaining ginger and the chillies on top and add in the rest of the leek. Pour the coconut milk over the salmon fillets and then fold the edges of the foil over to completely cover the salmon fillets – add more foil if necessary.

    Arranging the leeks and ginger on the salmon fillets

  3. Place into the oven for about 25 minutes. After this time, uncover the fish and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes or so – this will give the leeks a chance to brown off slightly. Serve up when down and enjoy! It goes really well with some simple boiled new potatoes and some steamed vegetables!

    Salmon Poached in Coconut Milk with Chillies and Garlic


  1. says

    Now coconut and salmon are not two things I would have thought to put together. It sounds good though – a bit sweet and tangy with some hidden kick. We always have salmon on hand. I may just give this one a try. Plus it will give me a chance to try leeks too. 😉

    • says

      Thanks Kristy – I hope you enjoy it :) Am I to infer from that that you've never tried leeks before, or did I misunderstand? 😮

      • says

        You're inferred correctly…I've never head leeks before. 😉 I've seen so many recipes lately using them, that I'm going to have to give them a try. (I typically have a vegetable aversion – which I'm slowly overcoming.)

        • says

          Oh… wow! I don't think I've ever met anyone who's never had leeks before – they're so common. They're SO good though. I'd strongly recommend this recipe from fresh365: Leek Croquettes – they're absolutely amazing!

          They can be a bit annoying because some of the inner layers sometimes have soil/dirt inside. I find it best to peel off the outer layer or so, cut half-way through lengthways to the middle and then rinse under running water. Hope you enjoy them!

        • says

          Awesome! Thank you. I printed it off and will try them next week. Can't really go wrong with fried veggies and cheese. 😉

  2. says

    I love salmon and always looking for new ideas…and quick! Wow, just a few ingredients and a tropical looking meal is ready!

    • says

      Thanks Linda! I really like salmon, although I much prefer trout – not sure if you’ve had a chance to try that but it’s divine! Not the sort of fish to use in this sort of recipe really – better just steamed with a good hollandaise sauce

  3. says

    Oh I love leeks! I bet this makes the fish so tender. And salmon really can take flavorful sauces without being overpowered.

    • says

      The coconut milk separates a bit so you have the lovely, more solid coconut at the end to scoop out, and the fish is really well cooked in the leftover liquid, really nice. I agree – Salmon is quite a distinctive fish and adapts really well to many flavours!

    • says

      Me too! I always walk past the fish stand at the local market and drool – I wish I had the time to try everything they had!

  4. says

    I love the combination of ingredients here – the coconut and ginger is enticing and I suspect there's a nice kick from the chillies – looking forward to trying this one!

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by Kelly! I love chillies – not too many, but when there’s just a perfect amount so you meet a small slice every so often which just gives a bit of a kick to off-set the very mild coconut and salmon flavours it’s really good!

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by! It was certainly good – I might reduce the coconut milk just a touch next time, add in some green chilli paste – now that would be pretty damn nice I think!

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