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+ servings
Close up shot of Indonesian fish curry garnished with fried shallots.

Creamy Coconut Indonesian Fish Curry - Kari Ikan

Creamy coconut, tangy lemongrass and tender white fish in a vibrant yellow curry. Indonesian Fish Curry (Kari Ikan) is delicately spiced and gorgeously aromatic, ready in just 30 minutes.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indonesian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 897kcal
Cost $10


Spice Paste (don’t worry, it’s super easy)



For the Spice Paste

  • Note: It's a big list but it’s super easy to blend everything within a minute! Pop everything on the spice paste list (garlic, large red chillies, small shallots, tomato, fish sauce, tumeric powder, ginger, lemongrass, palm sugar, ground coriander, lime juice or tamarind paste, black pepper, nutmeg and optional: small red chillies) into a food processor or blender. Pulse for 30 seconds to 1 minute to blend into a fragrant paste.
    6 cloves garlic, 3 large red chillis, 2-3 small shallots, 1 tomato, 3 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp ginger, 2 tsp lemongrass, 2 tsp palm sugar, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp lime juice, ¼ tsp black pepper, 1 pinch nutmeg, 1 - 3 small red chilli

For the Curry

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok over a medium heat. Throw in the lemongrass stalk and kaffir lime leaves and stir fry for 1 minute. Then add the spice paste and give it a good stir, frying until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
    1 lemongrass stalk, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 6 Thai makrut / kaffir lime leaves
  • Add your white fish pieces, coating in the paste and frying for a further minute.
    400 g white fish
  • Next, pour in your water and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and changes from translucent to white.
    1 cup water
  • Finally, turn down the heat to simmer on a medium heat and add in the coconut cream. Continue simmering for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    1 cup coconut cream
  • Serve with your favourite fluffy white rice for the best curry experience and garnish with fried shallots.
    white rice, crispy fried shallots



  • Spice Paste Sticking? - If your spice paste is getting stuck in the blender, pour in a small dash of oil or water to help it along. You can also grind the spices with a mortar and pestle if you need.
  • Stir Carefully - Fish is fragile once cooked, so take care when stirring the curry so it doesn’t flake and break apart.
  • Adjust the Heat - Feel free to adjust how much chilli you use in the spice paste. You can always have extra sliced fresh chilli on hand to garnish for extra heat after serving.
  • Coconut Cream - When using canned coconut cream shake or stir the can first – it may have separated from standing.
  • Add Vegetables - Greens and vegetables such as spinach, bok choy, broccoli or carrot work well.


Calories: 897kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 56g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 2261mg | Potassium: 1784mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1420IU | Vitamin C: 155mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 8mg