This light, delicate weeknight curry comes together in less than 30 minutes and is defined by its deep miso flavor. Miso is typically whisked into soups toward the end of the recipe, but sweating it directly in the pot with ginger, garlic and a little oil early on helps the paste caramelize, intensifying its earthy sweetness.
Unfortunately, I misread the instructions and didn’t add the miso until after the coconut milk had been boiling for several minutes, missing out on the nice caramelization—mea culpa. While the overall flavor is on the mild side, adding a tablespoon of red Thai curry paste at the same time as introducing the miso to the pot, will provide a more pronounced touch of heat and deepen the overall color.
Adding coconut milk creates a rich broth that works with a wide range of seafood. Salmon is used here, but flaky white fish, shrimp or scallops would all benefit from this quick poaching method. A squeeze of lime and a flurry of fresh herbs keep this curry bright and citrusy. For a hit of heat, garnish with sliced fresh jalapeño or serrano chile peppers.
Coconut-Miso Salmon Curry
- 2 Tbsp. safflower or canola oil
- 1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 2 cups)
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 2 Tbsp.)
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ¼ cup white miso
- ½ cup unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 1/2-lb. salmon fillet, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 5 oz. baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
- Steamed rice, such as jasmine or basmati, for serving
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion, ginger and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add miso and cook, stirring frequently, until miso is lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and 3 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in salmon, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in spinach and lime juice.
- Divide rice among bowls. Top with salmon curry, basil and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top.
Adapted from a recipe by Kay Chun for NYTimes Cooking