Portuguese-Style Salmon with Curry, Lemon, and Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

What is curry doing in Portugal? Back in the fabulous fifteenth century, Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and brought spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, and curry, back to Portugal You can make the curry and lemon cream ahead of time and either bake, poach, or broil the salmon. Serve it with minted rice and sautéed spinach for a tasty and colorful dinner.


  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus additional for the fish
  • Pinch freshly ground pepper, plus additional for the fish
  • 6 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • Olive oil for brushing the fish


Mix the curry powder, ginger if you like the flavor, and lemon juice, then whisk it into the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Store in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 450°F to 500°F or heat the grill or broiler. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Or brush the fish with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill or broil 3 to 4 minutes each side. (The fish can also be poached in the simmering cream sauce; it should take 5 to 7 minutes.)

Meanwhile, heat the cream in a medium saucepan to boiling, stirring occasionally. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by a third. Spoon the sauce over the salmon and serve at once.


We have used this curry lemon cream as a pasta sauce with shrimp, scallops, or crabmeat and fettuccine. You may want to increase the ginger a little bit and add a chiffonade of spinach or chopped chives for color.

If you are feeling rich, you could add 24 poached small shrimp or ½ pound fresh crabmeat to the sauce.