Chefs' Recipes

EP & LP's turmeric and coconut salmon curry

Louis Tikaram from Los Angeles restaurant EP & LP shares his recipe.

By Louis Tikaram
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 6 - 8
  • Print
Turmeric and coconut salmon curry
"This light aromatic coconut-based curry from Thailand is a great way to showcase beautiful fresh seafood," says Tikaram. "I'm using salmon here although you could substitute mussels, squid or even a combination of them all. At EP we make all our curry pastes fresh, daily. It's an expensive and labour-intensive process, although the result is delicious, but I must admit that when I'm making a quick curry at home, I use a store-bought yellow curry paste, which does the job."


  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut cream
  • ¼ cup (about 12) kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 3-4 sections
  • 1 tbsp tamarind liquid mixed with 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 500 gm skinless boneless salmon fillet
  • 2 long red chillies, seeded and cut into julienne
  • 100 gm (½ bunch) snake beans, cut into rough 6cm lengths
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) Thai basil, plus extra to serve
  • Juice of 2 mandarins
  • To serve: Thai basil, thinly sliced kaffir lime leaf and steamed jasmine rice
Yellow curry paste
  • 12 dried long red chillies
  • 20 gm galangal, thinly sliced
  • 1½ tbsp thinly sliced lemongrass (about 1 small stalk, pale tender part only)
  • 10 gm fresh turmeric, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp sliced krachai or wild ginger (see note)
  • ½ tsp shrimp paste (see note)


  • 1
    For yellow curry paste, soak chillies in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes, then drain, reserving soaking water, and process in a small blender or food processor with remaining ingredients until smooth, adding a little water to help blend if necessary. Refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    Bring stock, coconut cream, lime leaves and lemongrass to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, add 4 tbsp curry paste (refrigerate any remaining in an airtight container for up to
    a week) and simmer until aromatic and mixture no longer tastes raw (3-5 minutes). Season to taste with tamarind, fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar, add salmon and simmer very gently over low heat until almost cooked (5-6 minutes). Add chilli, beans and basil, and simmer until salmon is just cooked (1-2 minutes). Stir in mandarin juice, adjust seasoning if necessary and serve hot with extra Thai basil, kaffir lime leaf and rice.


Krachai, or wild ginger, is available fresh from Thai grocers when in season, or in jars from Asian greengrocers. Shrimp paste, also called kapi or terasi, is available from Asian food stores.
Drink Suggestion: A fruity beer like Stone & Wood Pacific Ale or a high-acidity white wine like chenin blanc or sauvignon blanc.
Drink suggestion by Louis Tikaram