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Salmon Rice Bowl With Green Curry Creamed Spinach

Green bowl of salmon and spinach.
Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Thu Buser, Prop Styling by Stephanie De Luca

In my personal hierarchy of steakhouse side dishes, creamed spinach comes in dead last. Overly gloppy and often flavorless, it seems like a crime against spinach, which I love under most other circumstances. Two small tweaks reboot the classic into something I want to have all the time: chopping the spinach (so it eats more like a greens-packed condiment rather than a mass of wet, wilty leaves) and amping up the creamy roux base with punchy, aromatic green curry paste. Served with simply seared salmon and rice, it makes a weeknight-friendly bowl that will make you forget about the steakhouse stuff. —Kendra Vaculin

For more whoa-worthy dinners you can get on the table like *snaps fingers* that, follow Kendra’s monthly column, Speedy Does It.

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What you’ll need


4 servings


oz. fresh (or frozen, thawed) spinach


tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton Kosher salt, plus more


4–6-oz. salmon fillets, preferably skinless

Freshly ground black pepper


tsp. extra-virgin olive oil


garlic cloves, finely grated


1" piece ginger, scrubbed, finely grated


Tbsp. unsalted butter


Tbsp. all-purpose flour


Tbsp. Thai green curry paste


tsp. (or more) crushed red pepper flakes

cups heavy cream, divided


Tbsp. (or more) fresh lime juice

Cooked jasmine rice (for serving)


cup store-bought fried shallots

Cilantro leaves with tender stems and lime wedges (for serving)


  1. Step 1

    Cook 10 oz. fresh spinach in a medium pot of boiling salted water, stirring, just until wilted and bright green, about 1 minute. Drain well. (Or, drain 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed.)

    Step 2

    Wrap spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze firmly over sink to expel as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

    Step 3

    Pat four 4–6-oz. salmon fillets, preferably skinless, dry with paper towels; season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, cook salmon, undisturbed, until golden underneath, about 4 minutes. Turn fillets over and cook until golden on the other side and just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

    Step 4

    Wipe out skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 3 garlic cloves, finely grated, one 1" piece ginger, scrubbed, finely grated, and 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, stirring often, until butter melts and foams, about 1 minute. When foam has subsided, add 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour to pan and cook, stirring often, until mixture is mostly smooth and golden in color with no patches of dry flour, about 2 minutes. Mix in 3 Tbsp. Thai green curry paste, ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until paste is fragrant and a shade darker in color, about 2 minutes. Stirring constantly, pour in 1 cup heavy cream in a few additions, stirring until fully incorporated after each. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until bechamel is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook, stirring, just until spinach is heated through, about 1 minute. Season generously with pepper, then stir in 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice and remaining ¼ cup heavy cream. Taste and add more salt, red pepper flakes, and lime juice as needed.

    Step 5

    To serve, scoop cooked jasmine rice into bowls. Divide salmon among bowls, breaking fillets into large pieces, then spoon spinach over. Sprinkle with ½ cup store-bought fried shallots, dividing evenly; top with cilantro leaves with tender stems. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

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  • One of our new favorites! We’ve made it twice in the past couple of weeks and love it! I’ve swapped cream for coconut milk (we avoid dairy), and pass on the extra red pepper flake since our green curry paste was already very spicy. Will definitely make this for years to come!

    • Laura W

    • Cincinnati, OH

    • 11/29/2022

  • Yum! This was delicious. I'll add a jalapeno, double the spinach (I used the 10 oz frozen and had way too much sauce) and try the coconut milk next time!

    • Anonymous

    • San Francisco, CA

    • 11/15/2022

  • This is a winner for sure. I used bagged "cooking spinach" whatever that means. It looked pretty tender already so I skipped the blanching and cooked it directly in the cream. I had no fried shallots but I did have a store-brand fried onion, poured half a lime's worth of juice on them and broiled them to be extra taosty. I accidentally chose a kind of spicy green curry paste that was probably a bit too much for my elderly Mom but she had seconds. This will be a go-to for salmon from now on.

    • Anonymous

    • Raleigh, NC

    • 11/7/2022

  • Really great effort-to-quality factor! I've struggled where I typically don't like the taste of the green curry too much, but adding everything else (especially the salmon + lime juice) made this super tasty (but, if you can find a green curry paste you like the flavor of, that is probably preferable haha).

    • Allie

    • San Francisco, CA

    • 10/6/2022

  • Amazingly fast and delicious. Had cold smoked salmon on hand so used that (just broke into pieces over rice), also subbed red curry paste and basil. Delicious!

    • PattyJ

    • Jasper, GA

    • 9/29/2022

  • Made this today with coconut milk instead of cream and knocked it out of the park. Easy ingredients come together to form an incredible mix of flavours. Kendra, this will definitely find a place in my go-to recipe list.

    • Sreeni

    • Seattle, WA

    • 8/10/2022

  • Excellent. Made with cashew cream. Tried both spinach and kale. Equally delicious.

    • Anonymous

    • Washington

    • 7/26/2022

  • Excellent recipe! Followed it closely and it was pretty perfect. Salty, spicy, creamy, citrusy, fishy. Hard to beat a dish like this. The roux was easy to make and so fragrant. Highly recommend.

    • Andy C

    • Chicago

    • 7/23/2022

  • Was so excited to dig into this recipe. For decades my family enjoyed creamed spinach at every holiday gathering. Sadly the spinach portion of this recipe is based around a roux, which is exactly why we at first eliminated creamed spinach from our meals, and then went to cream and cheese instead. My entire family has some level of sensitivity to today's wheat. I will try this recipe but quite happily with cream and a very mild cheese.

    • Paul

    • Iowa

    • 7/17/2022