Fish Curry

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This savory Fish Curry recipe is fragrant, wholesome, and bursting with flavor. Ready in just 20 minutes, this delicious dish makes for an incredible weeknight meal that the whole family is guaranteed to fall in love with.

283 CALORIES8g CARBS9g FAT41g PROTEIN
1 Comment

There are a lot of people who think that healthy eating means sacrificing flavor and eating bland dishes. One of the things I love most about what I do is proving those people wrong. With a little creativity and motivation, the world of healthy eating can be filled with more deliciousness than you could ever imagine. This dish is the perfect example of that.

The coconut curry sauce flavored with fresh ginger, garlic, basil, and curry powder is beyond creamy and loaded with bright and bold flavors. With the addition of a protein-packed white fish like cod to soak up all the flavors, the result is a show stopping dish. This dish works wonderfully served over rice or cauliflower rice for a complete meal that you won’t be able to get enough of.

Because this curry dish is even better the next day, it makes the perfect meal prep recipe during busy weeks. Whether you’re cooking for one or hosting a dinner party for a crowd, this simple and delicious dish is a surefire hit. Don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself!

Coconut fish curry with white fish, tomatoes, curry powder, garlic, and ginger in a creamy coconut broth served in a blue bowl.

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

This flavorful recipe comes together with just 10 ingredients. The key ingredients used to bring this dish to life include:

  • Firm white fish: Any mild-flavored, quick-cooking fish fillets work great in this dish. Options include cod, haddock, pollock, tilapia, bass, grouper, and halibut.
  • Coconut milk: I use lite coconut milk for this recipe, but feel free to use the full-fat kind if you’re following a paleo, keto, or Whole30 diet.
  • Curry powder: This vibrant spice mix is bursting with incredible flavors that perfectly complement the other ingredients in the dish.
  • Ginger: This flavorful ingredient is a classic component of any good curry dish.
  • Basil: The fresher the better! Adding a fresh herb like basil brightens up the whole dish and adds a ton of flavor.
  • Garlic: Fresh is best, but garlic powder can be used in a pinch if you don’t have any fresh garlic cloves at home.

What is Curry Powder?

While many people believe curry powder to have originated from India, it was actually created by the British to replicate Indian food. The powder is a blend of herbs and spices that can vary, but the base is always turmeric. This is what gives curry powder its rich golden hue. Ingredients commonly added to curry powders include cumin, cardamom, curry leaves, coriander, cloves, garlic, fennel seed, fenugreek, dried chilies, ginger, and mustard seed. Curry powder is typically used to add bold flavor to soups, stews, sauces, and marinades. Here is an easy homemade curry powder.

What is the best fish to use for curry?

Any firm white fish works well in curry dishes. These are typically the most affordable and hold up really well during the cooking process. I tend to go for cod, but you can use any firm white fish you like. Haddock, pollock, bass, grouper, and halibut all work well.

What to Serve With Fish Curry

I love serving this bright and savory dish alongside grilled or toasted naan bread for dipping. It pairs wonderfully with foods like rice and potatoes that can absorb the flavors of the curry, as well as simple veggies and refreshing salads that balance out those rich flavors. Here are some of my favorite side dishes to serve with fish curry:

Curried fish in a bowl with a creamy coconut broth, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil in a bowl.

Serving and Substitution Tips

These are some of my some tips for serving styles and substitutions for this dish:

  • For an eye-catching presentation, garnish the dish with additional freshly chopped basil just before serving.
  • I typically use cod in this dish, but any firm white fish will work. You’ll want to avoid oily fish like sardines and herring, delicate fish like sole, and fish that can get dry when cooked like tuna. 
  • While fresh garlic, ginger, and basil will yield the most flavorful results, any of these can be subbed out for the dried varieties in a pinch. However, switching from fresh to dried ingredients will alter the overall taste of the dish.
  • This dish can easily be taken in an Indian or Thai direction depending on what you like. Using an Indian curry powder will bring a more Indian style curry flavor to the dish. For a Thai style curry, choose a red or green curry paste and consider adding some fish sauce and fresh lime juice. This recipe is really a blueprint for an easy fish curry that can be taken in many directions.

How to Store This Dish

While fish curry can easily be stored in the fridge, it’s a bit trickier to store it in the freezer. The curry sauce itself freezes perfectly fine, but cooked fish can become tough when reheated. If you choose to freeze the leftovers, I would either remove the fish and freeze the sauce on its own or be prepared for the fish to be slightly altered in texture when you reheat it.

These are the two ways you can store this dish:

  • In the fridge in an airtight bag or container for up to 2-3 days.
  • In the freezer in an airtight bag or container for up to 2-3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish:

If the curry looks too thin, then simmer it for longer before adding the fish to the pan. You can also use less coconut milk or make sure to use full-fat coconut milk, which is naturally thicker. If you finish the dish and it still seems too thick, you can add a cornstarch slurry to thicken the curry.

To make this dish with vegetables, you can either saute the vegetables separately and add them to the curry or you can cook them in coconut milk. Before adding the fish, cook the vegetables in the coconut milk as it simmers. Once they are tender-crisp, add the fish. This ensures that the fish doesn't overcook while you wait for the vegetables to soften. Some good vegetables to add to fish curry include green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, summer squash, and butternut squash. 

This is more an easy at-home curry than a more authentic Goan fish curry or Kerala style fish curry that uses a more complex homemade curry mixture. With that said, this recipe can be used as a base to make a more complex Indian or Thai curry.

Yes! Fish is an incredibly lean source of protein, coconut milk is filled with healthy fats, and the fresh herbs and spices are all loaded with vitamins and minerals. Overall, this is a fantastic dish to incorporate into a healthy diet. If you’re looking for a low-carb meal, try serving it over cauliflower rice. It’s delicious!

Yes. However, cooked fish tends to get tough when frozen and reheated, so keep this in mind before you decide to freeze the dish.

This dish is amazing when served on top of rice, cauliflower rice, or potatoes. I also love serving it alongside bread like naan that I use for dipping, as well as cooked vegetables or a salad on the side. Because curry works well with a variety of side dishes, you can switch it up and get creative!

Bowl of fish curry with fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, and a creamy curry coconut broth with a spoon.
The Recipe
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Fish Curry

PREP TIME: 5 Min
COOK TIME: 15 Min
TOTAL TIME: 20 Min
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Ingredients

USMETRICS
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp. basil, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup canned lite coconut milk (full fat for Paleo/Whole30/Low Carb)
  • 1.5 lbs white fish (cut into chunks, cod or other)

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Instructions

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1

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, basil, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

2

Add the tomatoes and cook until they soften and begin to release their liquid. Add the curry powder (or paste) and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

3

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Let cook for 5 minutes.

4

Add the fish. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes flaky and cooked through. Top with more basil and season with salt, pepper, and lime juice as needed.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 283
Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 6g
32%
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
0%
Cholesterol 94mg
31%
Sodium 175mg
8%
Total Carbohydrate 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 4g
Protein 41g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

Notes

For an Indian style curry, use traditional Indian curry powder and season with extras like garam masala, ginger, or garlic. For a Thai-style curry, you Thai red, green, or yellow curry paste. Season with extra soy sauce, fish sauce, or lime juice,
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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Fish Curry
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Jennifer Ericson
February 17, 2022 - 18:07
Made this for dinner tonight and the family loved it! Quick and easy to make.
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