Spache the Spatula

Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots

Just when you though I was done with all the Thai recipes…

Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots | #recipeYep, the Thai food obsession is still going strong over here! Curry is quite possibly my favorite type of Thai food, and Red Curries and Penang Curries are my favorite types of curry. I usually order my curries with chicken or duck, but I decided to try something a bit out of the ordinary and make this one with salmon—excellent choice on my part.

I’m not entirely sure how authentic a choice salmon is in Thai curries, but the rest of it is pretty dean authentic. I made the red curry paste from scratch which was relatively easy, but requires quite a few ingredients. Oh, and let me just tell you, shrimp paste is certainly among the worst smells I’ve come across in this world. I repackaged it in TWO Ziploc baggies, and I can still smell it in my pantry! On the other hand, Rook was freaking out over the smell…in the complete opposite fashion. While it was out, he was glued to my side. He kept trying to sit like he does for treats. He’s strange.

But annnnnnyyyways, despite the fact that shrimp paste on its own smells like death, it’s amazing in the curry and totally necessary. It’s totally the same for the fish sauce—weird on its own, but creates something magical when paired with other ingredients!

Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots | #recipeI loved how this turned out. It’s just like the curry I order when I go to my favorite Thai place. It’s creamy, spicy, and absolutely bursting with flavor. Rice is a total must to soak up all the wonderful sauce.

You absolutely don’t have to stick with salmon in this dish (though it’s really freakin’ tasty); try chicken, tofu, duck, or a white fish! You can also throw in whatever veggies you want. The important part here is the sauce. And, while it totally won’t have the same depth of flavor, you can even use store-bout red curry paste if you don’t feel like making your own.

Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots | #recipe Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots | #recipe

Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots

Yield: 4 servings

Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots


    for the red curry paste (khreuang kaeng phet):
  • 3 or 4 dried long red chilies, seeded and stems removed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 7 fresh Thai chilies, seeded and stems removed
  • 3 fresno chilies or red jalapeños (not pictured)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white and light green portion only
  • 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled (if you can't find galangal, just use fresh ginger)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 shallots
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup cilantro stems
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste
  • for the red curry with salmon and bamboo shoots:
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 13.5 oz. can (1 and 3/4 cups) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (you could substitute brown sugar)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 11-12 oz. salmon fillets cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 10 oz. can of bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 and 1/2 oz. galangal, grated (you can use ginger if you can't find galangal)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 tbsp Thai Basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • 1 fresno chili or red jalapeño, sliced (optional)


    for the red curry paste:
  1. Place the dried chilies in a small bowl of warm water for 1 to 2 minutes until softened; drain.
  2. In a small sauté pan, dry roast the coriander seeds for a couple minutes until fragrant. Grind them up in a spice grinder, high-powered blender, or mortar and pestle.
  3. Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until a paste forms.
  4. You can store extra curry paste in the fridge for 2 weeks, or the freezer for a few months.
  5. for the red curry with salmon and bamboo shoots:
  6. Heat the coconut cream in a wok over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add in the curry paste and stir to combine. Cook for a couple more minutes.
  7. Add in the coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Add in the salmon and bamboo shoots and simmer for about 6 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
  9. Stir in the galangal and kaffir lime leaves and serve with rice. Sprinkle with the Thai basil, and the chili, if desired.


recipes adapted from The Food of Thailand

Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots | #recipe

You should try this next and not judge how terrible the photo from 4 1/2 years ago is because the recipe is delicious, I promise!:

Japanese Curry

Japanese Curry


2 Responses to “Thai Red Curry with Salmon and Bamboo Shoots”

  1. cj at Food Stories — April 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Beautiful – Would love to see this submitted at Food Foto Gallery . com so I can share with all my foodie friends 🙂

    • Rachael replied: — April 7th, 2014 @ 5:24 am

      Thank you!

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