Easy and Simple Salmon Curry

This salmon curry is so simple it’ll blow your mind. The recipe is from a cookbook, South Sea Island Recipes, and was organized by the Fijian Girl Guides Association and the recipes were sent, to quote, “by the members and friends of the Girl Guides Association, Fiji. It does not aim at being a representative book of cookery, but an aid to the housewives in the South Sea Islands.” This cookbook is what I guess could be considered something of a family heirloom, coming from my Dad’s side of the family. Since it’s a cookbook of recipes compiled from several people, the measurements aren’t uniform: some recipes are volume, using cups and spoons, others give ingredients in weight, and others still use a combination of volume and weight. The recipes are told simply and there aren’t any pictures.

Excuse the graininess, taken with my iPod and no filters!

I learned how to make this curry in the early days of when I was learning how to cook. It was also, I remember, the first recipe that I chopped the onion for. (I had previously let my Mum do that, because I didn’t want to get the gas from the onion in my eyes – but, as it turns out, weirdly enough, I’m nearly immune to it. Everyone who knows me and knows this fact calls me lucky.) This cookbook was also the first that freaked me out about ingredients – there’s a recipe in there somewhere that calls for lady fingers and in my childish mind I mistakenly assumed them for human fingers. It took several explanations from different members of my family to realize that the lady fingers in question were the biscuit-y/cake-y kind.

Anyway, on to the recipe. I’m doing this recipe step-by-step with photos and if you want the shorter version, without the pictures, you’ll find it at the end of this post. First, our ingredients:

Sauté 1/2 chopped onion in some olive oil over medium heat. (You don’t have to chop it as finely as I did, if you don’t want to.) Also throw in a small knob of ginger, minced, if you’d like (not pictured, it only occurred to me afterward.)

Once the onion is translucent, put in 2 chopped potatoes and stir it around so that the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom.

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of curry powder and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking. (If you add the curry powder before the potatoes, this is called browning and it brings out more of the curry’s flavour.)

Pour in 1 tin of coconut milk and fill the emptied tin half-full with water, adding to the pot. Stir. Bring to a boil and lower to medium heat, letting it gently simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes have softened.

Take the curry off the heat and add 1 tin of salmon. Break the salmon up to distribute through the curry.

Serve over fresh cooked rice and enjoy!

Easy and Simple Salmon Curry
Adapted from South Sea Island Recipes, arranged and issued by Girl Guides Association, Fiji

Serves 4 to 6

Cooking oil (I use olive oil)
1/2 large onion, chopped
Small or medium-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced (optional)
1 to 2 tsp. curry powder
1 to 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (14 fluid ounce) tin full fat coconut milk plus 1/2 tin water
1 (213g) tin salmon, drained

Freshly cooked rice, to serve

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and ginger, if using, and saute until onion is translucent. (When you add the onion, it should sizzle upon contact.)

Add the curry powder and brown for about a minute, or add to the potatoes.

Add potatoes and stir, making sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. (If you didn’t already add the curry powder, add it now, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.)

Pour in coconut milk and fill the coconut milk tin half-full with water and add water. Bring to a boil and lower to medium to medium low heat. Gently simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and soft.

Remove the curry from heat and add the tinned salmon, breaking up to distribute through the curry. Serve over rice and add salt to taste, if desired.


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9 thoughts on “Easy and Simple Salmon Curry

  1. What a totally delicious looking and simple recipe. My kids would love love this. They actually really like the curry flavor as long as it is not too spicy. And, of course, they really like salmon. This one would definitely be a hit. And, by the way, I am so jealous that onions do not make you cry! I look like I just finished a sob-fest when i am done chopping mine. LOL

    1. Hi Kim, it’s so easy that I’m sure they could even help prepare it. 😉 It’s very kid-friendly and it’s pretty mild actually since the coconut milk rounds it out. If you don’t have coconut milk on hand, though, just water can also be used although it will be a little bit spicier since water doesn’t cut the curry the same way as coconut milk. Re: onion tears, I’m nearlyimmune – sometimes there is an onion that gets the best of me! Another idea is to chop up all the onions with a food chopper and store it in a container until ready to use. 🙂

      1. Ladies, the reason why onions get to us is because of the capcacin that is released in the membranes of the onion as you gut it. That capcacin (a chemical compound) affects our sinuses as we breathe through our nose. A siomple trick is to breathe through your mouth only (thus cutting the oxygen ‘route’ directly to your lungs and bypassing your sinuses). Singing out loud is a good way of doing this, as anatomically – when you sing – you tend to breathe through your mouth… I guess we know now why so many chef’s tend to sign in their kitchens!

        1. Hi Helga, that’s interesting about how it affects the sinuses. The chemical that affects the eyes and causes tears is a lachrymator called Propanethial S-oxide and is released when the onion is cut. Refrigerating the onion dries it out. It’s very interesting you should leave this comment because I was reading about this only a few days ago! (All the same, it doesn’t quite explain my near immunity to onion gas.)

  2. I just love little unique recipe books like that. Which reminds me – I have an awesome one I got from a coworker with a bunch of Russian recipes. I need to look at that again. This sounds like a lovely little dish.

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