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Overhead view of finished plate of salmon poached in coconut milk

Salmon Poached in Coconut Milk with Lime Cilantro Drizzle

This salmon gently poached in coconut milk is rich, tender, and delicious. The lime and cilantro drizzle keeps it bright and fresh!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 2 people
Calories 567 kcal


For the lime cilantro drizzle:

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For the poached salmon:

  • 2 8-ounce salmon fillets
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 3 to 5 thyme sprigs


  • Make the lime cilantro drizzle: mix together all of the ingredients for the drizzle and set aside to let the flavors merge.
    Array of ingredients for cilantro lime drizzle
  • Heat the olive oil for the poached salmon in a deep pan just large enough to fit your salmon. Add the sliced onion and salt, and cook over medium-high heat until soft and beginning to get brown on a few edges, 5-7 minutes. Add the honey and coconut milk to the pan, stir to dissolve the honey.
    Softened onions in a pan with a wood spoon
  • Add the salmon (skin side down) and thyme sprigs to the pan. The coconut milk should at least halfway cover the salmon. If it doesn’t, add more water as necessary. Bring to a simmer, and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer as the salmon cooks.
    Hand placing salmon into a pan of simmering coconut milk
  • After 4 to 5 minutes, gently turn the salmon over and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Turn it right side up again, then scoop it out of the coconut milk and set aside.
    Salmon poaching in pan of coconut milk, skin-side up
  • Turn the heat up to high and reduce the coconut milk sauce until it’s thick and rich, about 10 minutes. In the final couple of minutes, carefully return the salmon to the pan to make sure it’s heated through again.
    Thickened coconut milk sauce in a pan
  • Transfer the salmon to plates, and pull the thyme sprigs out of the sauce (it’s fine if some leaves remain!). Spoon the reduced coconut sauce on top, and drizzle with the lime cilantro mixture. Enjoy!
    Spooning coconut milk sauce over salmon on a plate


Add as little water as possible to at least halfway cover the salmon. The more water you add, the longer it will take to reduce your sauce.