Made in one skillet with a handful of ingredients, this coconut milk salmon features pan-seared salmon with the most luxurious coconut milk lime sauce. – best served over a mountain of hot rice with lots of cilantro!
You may never cook salmon any other way again, you guys. If it’s not smothered in coconut milk sauce, you don’t want it, trust me.
We’re always looking for ways to make salmon fun in our kitchen and this recipe just fits the bill. It’s not your basic salmon recipe, but dang if it’s ever killer with the flavors AND easy to boot!
You will feel inclined to live in that pan down there, make no mistake about that.
It’s just all about that coconut sauce and OBSECENE amounts of fresh lime, cilantro + hot rice for soaking up that sauce, of course.
Seriously, salmon lovers you’re in for a wild ride today with this dream of a skillet dinner.
This Coconut Milk Salmon features…
- Buttery pan-seared salmon fillets
- A rich coconut lime sauce with plenty of fresh ginger and garlic
- Tender sauteed zucchini
- Hot rice for serving to soak up the coconut sauce
- Only 30 minutes to make, one pan needed, and a handful of ingredients
Making the Coconut Milk Salmon
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Salmon fillets
- Coconut milk
- Vegetable oil
- Lime juice
- Rice for serving
How to Prepare Salmon
You can buy a side of salmon and slice it into fillets yourself OR you can buy pre-sliced fillets, either works!
We generally prefer slicing the salmon ourselves because then we can control the size and make sure we have uniform fillets. Uniformity = even cooking.
You will need 4 salmon fillets for this recipe which is about 1 lb salmon. Make sure you remember to remove the skin!
Tips for Perfect Coconut Milk Salmon
- Pat salmon fillets dry – don’t skip this step! Use paper towels to pat the salmon fillets as dry as you can get them.
- Pan sear salmon – season the salmon fillets on both sides with salt and pepper, then pan sear in vegetable or canola oil several minutes per side until salmon reaches your desired doneness.
- Saute shallot and zucchini – use the same pan you pan seared the salmon in and saute the shallot and zucchini in the pan drippings. If you don’t have many pan drippings left, add a splash or two of olive oil.
- Add aromatics – add fresh ginger + garlic and let this cook a minute or so until fragrant.
- Simmer sauce – pour the coconut milk into the pan and bring to a simmer. Nestle the salmon back into the pan and allow to simmer about 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced and the salmon is heated through. It will look like there’s a LOT of sauce in comparison to the salmon, but this is exactly what you want!
- Add fresh lime and cilantro – finish off the skillet by squeezing fresh lime juice and sprinkling fresh cilantro over top.
- Use a different veggie – sliced mushrooms, sweet peppers, or snow peas would be great swap outs for the zucchini.
- Try chicken – if you don’t love salmon or don’t have it on hand, chicken breast cutlets would work great in place of the salmon. Pan sear the chicken until it registers 165F and then simmer in sauce as recipe directs.
- Make it curry – add a few tablespoons of green curry paste to the sauce and turn this dish into a delicious green curry version!
What to Serve with Salmon
We like to keep it simple and serve steamed jasmine rice with this salmon. Our best advice is to NOT skimp on the rice – it soaks up that extra coconut sauce and is just amazing. A few other rice alternatives…
- Cauliflower rice
- Brown rice
Words don’t even justify how incredible this salmon is. The salmon is perfectly tender, buttery and just smothered in the rich, creamy coconut sauce that’s perfectly balanced with tangy lime and flavorful cilantro.
Don’t be tempted to skimp on the sauce! It’s my definition of liquid gold and you want as much of it on your plate as possible.
I don’t know about you, but salmon dinners that look this good? They have a permanent place on the dinner agenda.
More salmon dinner favorites to try next!
Skillet Coconut Milk Salmon
- 1 lb skinless salmon fillets (4 medium fillets)
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus extra wedges for serving
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- Hot rice for serving
- Season salmon well on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until pan is hot. Add salmon to pan and sear 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping once until salmon is golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add shallot and zucchini to pan drippings and saute 3-4 minutes until tender. Add garlic and ginger and saute 1 additional minute until fragrant.
- Add coconut milk to pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add salmon to pan. Allow to simmer an additional 5 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened and salmon is heated through.
- Stir in additional salt and pepper to taste, lime juice and cilantro. Serve salmon hot over rice with extra lime wedges. Enjoy!