Thai Red Fish Curry

03 Aug 2023

This curry is full of aromatic flavours and spices and zingy lime juice. You can make your own Thai Red Curry Paste using our recipe below.


Thai Red Curry Paste
2 stems lemon grass
2 x medium red chillies
1cm fresh ginger
1 small red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 lime
1 x 15ml spoon cumin seeds
2 x 15ml spoons coriander seeds
Thai Red Fish Curry
1x 40g bunch fresh coriander
1 medium onion
200g sugar snap peas OR mange tout
200g baby corn
1 x 15ml spoon vegetable oil
4 x 15ml spoon Thai red curry paste
1 x 15ml spoon light soft brown sugar
1 x 400g can reduced fat coconut milk
1 x 15ml spoon fish sauce
600g fish fillets (e.g. salmon OR white fish)
1 lime


Chopping board
Sharp knife
Wok or frying pan
with lid
Mixing spoon
Measuring spoons
Can opener
Weighing scales

Additional equipment required for making your own curry paste
Small bowl
Measuring spoons
Frying pan
Pestle and mortar
Food processor


Thai Red Curry Paste

  1. Remove the tough outer leaves of the lemon grass and cut into 1cm slices.
  2. Place the chopped stalks in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak whilst you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Split the chillies in half lengthways, remove the seeds and white membrane and chop finely – remember to take care when chopping chillies and wash hands afterwards.
  4. Peel, using a teaspoon, and finely grate the ginger.
  5. Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic.
  6. Grate the zest from the limes and squeeze the juice.
  7. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until toasted and grind to powder in a pestle and mortar.
  8. Remove the soaked lemon grass from the water. Keep the soaking liquid for later.
  9. Place all of the prepared ingredients into a food processor and chop until you have a coarse paste. You may need to add 1 x 15ml spoon of lemon grass soaking liquid to help bind the paste.

Thai Red Fish Curry

  1. Wash the coriander and vegetables and dry with paper towel.
  2. Finely chop the onion.
  3. Slice the sugar snap peas and baby sweetcorn in half.
  4. Finely chop the coriander stalks and keep the leaves for later.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in the wok or frying pan and gently fry the onions until soft.
  6. Add the curry paste, coriander stalks and brown sugar and fry for 3 – 4 minutes. Stir regularly so that the paste doesn’t burn.
  7. Add the sugar snap peas and baby sweetcorn and stir into the pan.
  8. Add the coconut milk and fish sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer.
  9. Add the fish to the pan and cover with a lid and cook in the sauce for 4 – 5 minutes or until the fish is just starting to flake.
  10. When cooked, garnish with lime wedges and coriander leaves.

Skills used include:
Weighing, measuring, washing, chopping, mixing, squeezing, grating, boiling/simmering and frying.

Top Tips

  • If younger children are cooking with you, ask them to chop up the herbs in a cup using scissors.
  • Serve with rice or noodles.
  • Fish sauce or ‘Nam Pla’ is a form of Thai seasoning, a bit like Worcestershire sauce, that helps to accentuate the flavours of other ingredients in the curry.
  • Only squeeze in the lime juice after you’ve finished cooking or you’ll lose the citrusy aroma and your curry will taste bitter.
  • Toasting and grinding your own spices helps to produce more flavour but you could use ready ground.

Something to try next time

  • Add other vegetables to the dish, such as long thin slices of carrot, pepper or courgette.
  • Try other varieties of fish and prawns.

Prepare now, eat later

  • Red Thai Paste could be made in advance and kept in the fridge for 48 hours or in the freezer for up to 1 month. It can be added to the pan straight from frozen but place on low heat so it doesn’t burn.

Get more from your food

  • Lucky enough to have some curry left? Stir in some left over mashed potato and combine with the mixture until it forms a dough, then shape into small balls, coat in flour and then shallow fry or bake. You’ll have a delicious red Thai fishcake which could be served with crisp green salad.