We love easy weeknight dinner recipes that pack a lot of flavor with little effort. For this recipe, we lean on the microwave to poach salmon filets in a highly aromatic coconut red curry. The trick to getting the most flavor into the coconut milk is to sizzle aromatics in a little oil (more on that below) and you can do that in the microwave too.
We would eat this tasty meal over a generous scoop of jasmine rice, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice on top.
Make a Flavor Bomb of Aromatics
We blitz aromatics—cilantro, ginger, lemongrass, and jalapeños—until finely chopped and microwave them with a little oil. This infuses the oil with their flavors, really upping their intensity, and making sure the coconut milk is flavorful too.
If you don’t have a mini food processor to blitz the aromatics, that’s okay! You can use a sharp chef’s knife to finely chop them first and then stir in the oil. It’ll be more paste-like if chopped in the food processor and chunkier done by hand, but it’ll still work incredibly well hand-chopped because the aromatics soften and cook down in the microwave anyway.
Cook Time Depends on a Few Factors
The salmon is gently cooked in the red curry coconut milk. There are a few factors that determine their doneness. Here are some things to consider:
- We developed and tested the recipe in a 1,000 and 1,250-watt microwave. You may need to cook the salmon for less time or longer, in 1-minute intervals, depending on the power of your microwave and how you like your salmon cooked.
- If your salmon filets are on the thinner side (ours were about an inch thick), you can cook them for less time, about a minute less.
- Do you like your salmon well-done? Place your filets along the edges of the pie plate, where it tends to be hotter. For medium-rare filets, place them in the center of the pie plate, where it doesn't get as hot.
- If your salmon is ice cold straight out of the fridge, it may take a little longer for them to cook through. It’s always best to gently poke a fork through the thickest part and check for doneness.
Weeknight Salmon Recipes
Microwave Red Curry Poached Salmon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds removed
1 small stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, well-shaken
1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
4 (4-ounce) skinless salmon filets
Cooked rice, for serving
Make the aromatic oil:
Process the oil, shallots, cilantro, jalapeño, lemongrass, and ginger in a mini food processor until very finely chopped, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
Don’t have a mini food processor? Very finely chop the shallots, cilantro, jalapeño, lemongrass, and ginger, and then stir in the oil. (You can do this directly in the pie plate—more on that below.)
Cook the mixture:
Spoon the mixture into a 9 1/2-inch microwave-safe glass pie plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high until it sizzles and is fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and curry paste:
Stir in the coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until combined. Microwave, uncovered, on high until the coconut milk mixture is simmering and the flavors meld, 3 to 4 minutes.
Cook the salmon:
Stir in the lime juice and place the salmon filets, evenly spaced apart, in coconut milk mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt on the salmon. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on medium (50% power) until the salmon is cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 6 minutes.
We developed and tested the recipe in a 1,000 and 1,250-watt microwave. You may need to cook the salmon for longer, in 1-minute intervals, depending on the power of your microwave and how you like your salmon cooked.
Garnish with cilantro and serve scooped over cooked rice.
Did you love the recipe? Leave us a comment below!
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 42g||54%|
|Saturated Fat 22g||110%|
|Total Carbohydrate 11g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 15mg||75%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|