20-minute Thai Green Fish Curry

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Thai green fish curry is quick, light, creamy, mild and yet deliciously fragrant. The best part? Made with store-bought curry paste, it’s on the table in just 20 minutes!

A portion of Thai fish curry and a spoon in a light beige bowl on a wooden board with a green tea towel at the side.

Why you’ll love it

  • Uses store-bought Thai green curry paste. Yes, homemade curry paste would be the best. But on a busy weeknight a good quality store-bought paste will get this on the table in just 20 minutes.
  • A curry crowd pleaser. Vibrant and colorful, mild and creamy, and yet fragrant, there’s a good chance even your pickiest eater will enjoy this green Thai fish curry.
  • Made with frozen vegetables. This way, there’s no need to pre-cook them, which means you can make the curry all in one pot. In fact, apart from the fish, most of the other ingredients are fridge or pantry ingredients you most likely already have. So convenient!
  • Dinner is on the lighter side. Essentially, you’re eating… fish and vegetables!

More Favorite Curries

This perfect Thai chicken and butternut squash curry appears regularly on our table and in our freezer (trust me, it really is perfect). This yummy, creamy 20-minute coconut chickpea curry is made with ONLY pantry ingredients (I make this when Mr. Scrummy the carnivore isn’t around!).

About the ingredients

All ingredients for Thai fish curry labelled, including white fish, coconut milk, Thai green curry paste, fresh coriander, flaked almonds, broth or stock, a lime, green vegetables, chopped onion and red pepper.

Chopped onion. Just a regular medium-sized white onion.

Curry paste. Any green curry paste will work, however I try to buy a good quality one with good flavor. There will probably be some trial and error involved in this since it depends where you live as to what’s available.

Generally I find green curry pastes that are made in Thailand or other Asian countries a ‘safer’ bet. I also look at the jar to see which has the yummiest sounding list of ingredients. Thick pastes are also generally more fragrant than thinner pastes, but again a bit of trial and error might be required to find this out.

Coconut milk. Use full fat for the best texture and flavor. Coconut cream is fine, too, for a slightly richer curry sauce.

A bouillon cube (stock cube). This is purely optional, but I like the extra flavor it adds. Chicken or vegetable is best. You’ll just mix it with a little hot water, then stir it in when you add the coconut milk.

Frozen green beans. I usually go for cut/sliced green beans for convenient bite-sized pieces. Fresh green beans are fine, too, but you’ll need to blanch them first before adding to the curry. I sometimes replace some of the green beans with a few slices of fresh zucchini, as well.

If you don’t have any green beans, try fresh snow peas (sugar snap peas), fresh chopped asparagus, or frozen broccoli florets.

Pepper. I like to add one sliced pepper for extra color and sweetness. I like red for the color, but green or yellow or orange is fine, too.

White fish. The type of fish you use will depend on where you are in the world. In the USA you might use cod, pollock, haddock, tilapia or flounder. In the UK, you might use cod, pollock, haddock, plaice or sole. In Australia you might use snapper, barramundi, or hoki.

The key is to choose a fairly firm fish that won’t disintegrate into your curry sauce. I would also choose a milder flavored fish that won’t overpower the curry flavour.

Fresh or frozen fish is fine. If using frozen, simply defrost then use in the recipe as you would with fresh fish.

To serve. Cilantro/Coriander, lime wedges, flaked almonds. The flaked almonds are optional. They are not a traditional ingredient in a Thai green curry, but I love the crunch they add!

How to make a Thai green fish curry

Fry a chopped onion until soft in a large saucepan.

Stir in the curry paste. Sauté it with the onions for 30 seconds to a minute.

A collage of 2 images showing chopped onions with curry paste and a wooden spoon in a saucepan, and then with the curry paste stirred in.

Add the coconut milk, bouillon/stock cube (mixed with a little hot water), and then the vegetables.

A collage of 2 images showing onions and coconut milk in a saucepan with a wooden spoon, and then with vegetables added to the pan.

Place some white fish (chopped into large-ish pieces) on the top. Put the lid of the saucepan on for around eight to ten minutes until the fish is just cooked.

A collage of 2 images showing someone's hand lifting a glass lid on a saucepan of Thai green curry, and then with raw fish on top.

Meanwhile, toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan (if using).

A collage of 2 images showing raw chunks of fish on top of curry mixture in a saucepan, and then flaked almonds in a small frying pan.

Serve the fish green curry in bowls with the garnishes sprinkled on top.

Just cooked Thai green fish curry in a large saucepan with ingredients and a green tea towel all around.

Helen’s Top Tips

  • ‘Frying off’ the curry paste will start building depth of flavor. This is a quick and easy but essential step when making a curry, so don’t skip it!
  • Note that the green curry sauce will be quite thin – like a thin soup. This is how it’s supposed to be.
  • Taste and adjust the spice level before serving. At the end of the cooking time, taste the curry. If it isn’t spicy enough for you, stir in another teaspoon of curry paste. If it’s too spicy, serve with Greek yogurt on the side to cool it down!

How to serve

Add a lime wedge and sprinkle with some toasted flaked almonds and fresh coriander before serving – and this Thai green curry with fish is pretty good looking!

I like to serve the curry very simply, with just some jasmine rice (or any rice) on the side.

I generally don’t serve this particular curry with yogurt, unless anyone wants to cool it down slightly to make it less spicy.

A portion of Thai fish curry and a spoon in a light beige bowl on a wooden board with a green tea towel and ingredients at the side.

Variations

Vary the curry paste. Yes, this is a Thai fish green curry. However, the recipe will work well with any curry paste you like. Try Thai red curry paste, massaman curry paste, madras curry paste, rogan josh (add a few chopped tomatoes!) or a mild korma which works especially well with the coconut milk in this recipe.

Mix and match different vegetables. Don’t have green beans or red peppers? Use green peppers, asparagus, baby corn, courgette/zucchini, baby tomatoes or mushrooms. Any vegetables that cook quickly will work.

Switch out the protein. Yes, this is a fish curry! But there’s actually no reason why it couldn’t also work with pieces of chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp. Sauté the meat with the onions for a few minutes or until mostly cooked through. For shrimp, lay it on top of the other ingredients (as with the fish) but cook for around 5 to 6 minutes only.

Add Thai basil (or regular basil) as a garnish as well.

Recipe FAQs

Is a Thai green fish curry spicy?

Yes, primarily from the green chili peppers in the paste. However, the spiciness can vary depending on the brand of curry paste used and of course the amount added. Coconut milk in the curry also gives it a milder, creamier flavor. As a general rule, use 2 tablespoons of curry paste for a curry to serve 2 that’s medium spicy. Reduce or increase the amount by half a tablespoon for a milder or spicier flavor.

Can Thai green fish curry be made ahead of time or frozen?

Fish is generally best eaten when first cooked. However, it is possible to reheat the curry if it’s made ahead and kept well covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a saucepan on the stove until piping hot again. Be careful not to boil or heat for too long as the fish will become dry and tough. You can also freeze it in a freezer safe container for up to a month for the best flavor and texture. Let defrost in the fridge before reheating gently.

More easy Asian meals

Or take a look at all Asian recipes.

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A portion of Thai fish curry and a spoon in a light beige bowl on a wooden board with a green tea towel at the side.
5 from 1 vote

20-Minute Thai Green Fish Curry

A quick and light fish curry recipe with punchy Thai flavours and a delicious creamy and fragrant coconut base. Serve with rice and sprinkle with fresh coriander, bright lime juice and a few crunchy toasted almonds. It's midweek easy dinner perfection!
Prep: 8 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 medium onion, sliced into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, (adjust amount half a tablespoon up or down for a spicier or milder curry)
  • 1 cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 bouillon cube, (stock cube: chicken, vegetable or fish) mixed with a little hot water to make a paste (optional)
  • cup frozen green beans, or a mixture of frozen green beans and chopped zucchini
  • 1 pepper, chopped into large chunks (red, green, yellow or orange)
  • 9 ounces white fish, cut into large chunks e.g. cod, haddock, pollock, snapper, barramundi

To serve

  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, washed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, optional
  • lime wedges
  • jasmin rice, (or any rice)

Instructions 

  • Heat a drizzle of vegetable oil in a large saucepan on a medium high heat. Fry the onion gently for a couple of minutes until softened.
    1 medium onion
  • Add the curry paste along with a splash of water. Stir for a minute or two to release the flavours.
    2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • Stir in the coconut milk and bouillon cube/stock cube paste (if using). Add the frozen green beans and chopped pepper. Bring to the boil, then let simmer for a few minutes.
    1 cup coconut milk, 1 bouillon cube, ⅔ cup frozen green beans, 1 pepper
  • Lay the fish pieces on top of the sauce and vegetables. Put the lid on the saucepan and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked.
    9 ounces white fish
  • Meanwhile, lightly toast the almonds in a dry frying pan (if using). Shake every now and again until golden brown. Serve the curry into bowls carefully (to keep the fish in large pieces). Sprinkle over the coriander and almonds and add a lime wedge to each bowl. Enjoy with rice on the side.
    1 small bunch fresh coriander, lime wedges, 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, jasmin rice

Notes

Portions: This recipe will serve 2 to 3 people with rice and the toppings. However, it’s very easy to double to feed more people. The cooking process is exactly the same.
Curry paste: For a medium spiced curry, use about 2 tablespoons of green curry paste. Use a little more or less to taste (around half a tablespoon). Try to choose a good quality, thick paste – brands made in Thailand or other Asian countries are often the best. The recipe also works well with other kinds of curry pastes e.g. korma, jogan josh, madras.
Vegetables: Don’t have frozen green beans? Use fresh asparagus (chopped into lengths), frozen broccoli, mushrooms, chopped zucchini/courgette, tomatoes, or any other vegetables that cook quite quickly.
Storing/Freezing: Although I think fish is best eaten when first cooked, it is possible to reheat this curry if you do so carefully. Reheat very gently on the stove until ‘just’ piping hot again. 
You can freeze in a freezer safe container for up to a month. Let defrost in the fridge, then reheat gently as described above.
Nutrition: Note that the nutrition info does not include the rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 459kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 568mg, Potassium: 900mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2889IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 113mg, Iron: 6mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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52 Comments

  1. Wow I’m impressed that this is a 20 minute dish, Helen! I absolutely love the flavors of this fish. I’ve never thought to combine coconut and curry, so creative!

  2. This looks so yummy! Quick meals are a fav aorund here, now that I have a toddler! lol

    Anyhoo, I stumbled upon your page through a fellow blogger, and thought I would stop by and say hi! It would totally make my day if you did the same.. or better yet, keep in touch! <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  3. I love this “Friday night curry” thing you and your friends had going! And love this quick curry!
    When I first came to the US – I so badly wanted a quick easy curry that would remind me of back home – I wish I had had this recipe! 🙂

    1. Oh, Shashi, this will be nothing compared to your amazing Sri Lankan recipes … but still, I’m glad it reminded you of home!

  4. I love the sound of this meal! I really like curry dishes and I never make them at home. That needs to change…especially since I can have a delicious meal in 20 minutes!

    1. Thanks, Marcie! If you can put up with the smell lingering a little in your kitchen then you should definitely give it a go. I need to make this more often!

  5. Love that this dish only takes 20 minutes! Fish curries are my favourite, so delicious.

    1. Thanks, Jess … so glad you like it and yes, the best part is that you can make it so quickly!

  6. I love Brick Lane – the bagels are EPIC!!
    I also love coconut curries too, they taste so creamy, whilst still being healthy too.

    1. So happy you know what I’m talking about re. the bagel shop! Aren’t they the best?! They were usually warm when I got them … mmmm, want one now!

  7. A chaque fois tu nous surprendre avec des recettes délicieuses et faciles à réaliser ! Tu crois qu’on peut faire la même recette avec de poulet en lieu du poisson? En tout cas, Mr Scrummy a beaucoup de chance 🙂

    1. Je suis certaine que tu pourras en faire avec le poulet, Eva. Pourquoi pas! Je mettrais le poulet en meme temps que l’oignon. 🙂

  8. I love the “cheap as chips” phrase. I think I’m going to have to start using that! I’ve never made a dish that could be called a curry dish although I have used curry in some of my recipes. I happen to LOVE it so I think I’d really enjoy this recipe. 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful week, Helen!

    1. Oh, please do start using ‘cheap as chips’! We can get a whole new UK phraseology happening over there 😉
      Glad you like the idea of the curry!

  9. How beautiful and easy to make! Never tried fish curry, but will do! Just have to find good curry paste .

    1. Any good supermarket brand curry paste will be fine, Mira! Glad you like this idea! 🙂