While making curry paste from scratch is something I might do as a fun weekend cooking project, I also keep prepared green curry paste on hand in my refrigerator for quick-fix meals. (I like either Thai Kitchen brand, which I can find in my supermarket, or Mae Ploy brand, which is available in most Asian markets.) Without a lot of fuss, this big-flavored one-bowl meal goes together in about a half hour, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner. Accompany the salmon and snow peas with steamed jasmine rice.
Recipe contributed by Diane Morgan, author of Salmon: Everything You Need to Know + 45 Recipes
1 Tbsp Asian fish sauce, preferably Vietnamese nuoc mam
2 cups snow peas, stem ends trimmed and strings removed
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 green onions, including green tops, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Spoon out the thick cream that has separated and risen to the top. Set the cream aside in a small bowl. Pour off the remaining thin coconut milk and reserve it separately.
In a large sauté pan, warm the coconut cream over medium-low heat. Add the curry paste and whisk until smooth and the mixture comes to a simmer. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the thin coconut milk, water, and fish sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring once or twice.
Add the salmon fillets in a single layer, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Flip the salmon, re-cover, and cook for 2 minutes longer.
Scatter the snow peas around the salmon, submerging them in the liquid, re-cover the pan, and cook until the snow peas are bright green and the salmon is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat.
Transfer the salmon to warmed dinner plates or shallow pasta bowls. Stir the lime juice, green onions, and cilantro into the curry sauce.
Spoon the curry sauce and snow peas around the fillets, dividing the sauce and peas evenly. Serve immediately.