In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Curry King Fish.

king fish curry

A while back while doing one of those internet “20 Questions” I was asked “what would be your last meal?” and without even blinking my eye I said “my moms curry king fish”. Every winter before our parents head back down to the Caribbean to revel in that wonderful Caribbean sunshine, it’s my dad’s job to search out a huge King fish at the local Asian grocery stores and mom’s chore, is to ress ah curry on it.

My dad is very picky when it comes to choosing the ‘right’ King fish, so he starts his search about a month in advance. Maybe I’ll get him to share his tips with us in a coming video in the Food FAQ channel. After making a huge pot of curry king fish, she them place a slice along with some of the rich gravy into freezer containers (yup, we have special containers just for this yearly tradition) and they’re then sent down to me to last the winter. That woman’s curry fish is absolutely divine and though I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to really duplicate her recipe as she does.

You’ll Need…

4 slices King Fish (about 1.5 lbs)
1 onion
1 tomato
1 tablespoon Caribbean green seasoning
2 cloves garlic
3 leaves shado beni (or cilantro)
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
1 cup water
4 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoon veg oil
oil for frying the fish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup bell pepper (optional)
1 scallion (green onion/spring onion)
1/2 teaspoon amchar masala

Notes: You’ll need the juice of half a lime or lemon to wash the fish as it’s typically done in the Caribbean. The King fish slices will have a center bone, so do let your guests know when serving. The bell pepper is not a traditional ingredient, but I’m making use of it before it goes bad in my fridge.

To make your own amchar masala, toast the following in a dry frying pan… 4 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp whole fennel seeds, 1 tsp brown mustard seeds, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds and then grind in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

Wash the slices of King fish with the juice of half a lime or lemon and some cool water, drain and set aside as you chop the onion, scallion, garlic, tomato and scotch bonnet pepper. As we’ve discussed in the past try not to use any of the seeds in the scotch bonnet of you don’t want that raw heat, remember to wear gloves if you’ve sensitive skin and don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling them. Give the shado beni a rough chop as well and set aside for later.

Place the fish slices in a large bowl and season with the salt, black pepper, tomato, scallions, scotch bonnet pepper, amchar masala, 1/3 of the curry powder, 1/2 of the onion, green seasoning and bell pepper if you choose to use it.

Seal the bowl with some plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour. After which it’s time to quickly fry each slice of fish as part of this tasty curry fish recipe. I basically had a small station set up. The seasoned fish, a plate with the flour, the oil for frying (about 2 cups veg oil) and a wire basket lined with paper towels to drain off extra oil after frying.

Shake off any extra marinade on the fish, then dust in flour and place in the hot oil. Be gentle when placing the fish in the hot oil, so it doesn’t splatter and burn you. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes (until you start getting a bit of colour) as we don’t want to overcook the fish. We will be cooking it further when we create the curry sauce. Place the fried pieces of fish on the paper towels to drain as we create the tasty curry sauce.

In a deep saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoon of veg oil on med/high heat, then toss in the remaining half of the onion and garlic. Reduce your heat to low and let that gently cook for a couple minutes. You should have a nice flavor base started at this point, so it’s time to toss in the remaining curry powder (I used a madras blend from the Caribbean) and stir well. It will start to go darker and grainy. Stir and allow to bloom for 3 minutes! Your kitchen should have that ‘wicked’ scent by now. It’s now time to empty all the marinade (chopped stuff) into the pot and give it a good stir. Turn your heat to medium and bring to a boil. In the same bowl you had the fish marinating, add the 1 cup of water to is and swish it around to pick up any remaining marinade.

Pour in that water into the pan and bring to a boil and allow to simmer for about 3-5 minutes to allow all those flavors to marry and make good things happen in that pan.

It’s now time to gently add back the pieces of fish to the pot to help complete the curry fish dish. I simply used my hands to do this part as I didn’t want the fish to fall apart and I had to shake the fish pieces so they would make it among the lovely sauce. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes and if you can.. flip the pieces of fish. If not, spoon some of that curry sauce all over the fish as it simmers away.

The sauce will start to thicken up, the fish will be infused by all the wonderful flavors we created and your curry fish will now be ready to serve. Rice, roti, ground provision.. even on it’s own, this curry fish will be a hit! As you turn off the stove, top with the chopped shado beni (or cilantro) and place the lid on the pan. The remaining heat will heighten the natural flavor of the shado beni and it will add a lovely undertone.

Note: Remember the sauce will thicken further after it cools down and the residual heat form the pan will also contribute to this, so don’t worry if the sauce seems a bit runny at first.

Admittedly this is an excellent curry King fish, but it’s nothing as scrumptious as the curry fish our mom makes… among other things.

Before you go, donโ€™t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below โ€“ itโ€™s appreciated.

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  1. Md Milton Ali
    December 10, 2023 / 1:53 am

    This Curry Fish recipe is an absolute game-changer! The blend of aromatic spices creates a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds. The combination of tender fish chunks and rich, savory curry sauce is pure perfection. I followed the recipe step by step, and the result was a mouthwatering dish that impressed everyone at the dinner table. The spices were perfectly balanced, and the fish absorbed the delicious curry goodness. It’s a fantastic way to elevate your seafood game and introduce a burst of exotic flavors to your meals. This Curry Fish recipe has become a staple in my kitchen, and I can’t wait to share it with friends and family. Thanks for read.

  2. Esther H-d
    December 6, 2023 / 2:03 am

    I think the fish was fried in too much oil which would the taste, anyway keep on cooking. SKB!

    • admin
      December 7, 2023 / 10:28 am

      traditionally this is how it’s done… ‘too much’ is so relative eh

  3. February 3, 2021 / 4:38 pm

    Hi Chris my specialty is curry fish white rice and some curry mango .

  4. Linda
    December 11, 2020 / 6:11 am

    Hi ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Iโ€™m making this today! As in right this second! Iโ€™ve done a LOT of experimenting with flavours and curries in particular. I love adding a dried lemon or lime to fish curries, and one or two lime leaves. I made the โ€œgravyโ€ at least an hour ahead and summer loowww and slooowwww…. then add the fish and sim simma for another 30 mins! Chris with my method and your recipe … mmmm mmmm ๐Ÿ˜‹

  5. Michele
    April 23, 2018 / 3:59 pm

    Would you be able to use snapper for this fish instead of king fish?

  6. Val Persaud
    November 3, 2017 / 3:17 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I’m a Guyanese guy living in Mississauga who never learned to cook at home so your recipes are a lifesaver for me!

    I tried the Curry King Fish recipe substituting King Fish with Red Snapper and it turns out pretty good… still trying to perfect my variation. One question though… the recipe states one tomato but in the picture it looks like more. Can you please clarify?

    Also, in the recipe you marinate with half the onion and then fry the other half adding the remainder of the “marinating” onion after. I find the “marinating” half of the onion doesn’t cook as well and is still hard. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again Chris and I will be buying your book!

    • admin
      November 4, 2017 / 8:48 pm

      yea I pretty sure it’s one tomato .. what type of onion are you using? a regular cooking onion?

    October 31, 2017 / 11:12 am

    As a jamaican i am not aware of an authentic jamaican curry dish that includes tomatoe. I’m just saying.

    • admin
      November 4, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      not sure if I called this Jamaican curry.. but 2 things. 1 I use the tomato in all my curry dish as a personal preference and for it’s acidity and 2. Look at authentic ‘curry’ and you’ll notice that tomatoes are called for.

    • trini_in_sc
      February 18, 2023 / 12:04 am

      he’s trinidadian and this is how we make curry fish. you dont have to put tomato in it if it’s your preference. I find your comment is bold and out of place, is Jamaica the only Caribbean country that makes curry?

  8. Valerie Khan
    July 3, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    Very difficult to find King fish in Buffalo, so I used cod loins instead. Absolutely delicious!!!

  9. January 8, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    Oh my goodness first time making curry fish and it was wonderful. My kids loved it which was great!!! My best friend was shocked i pulled it off.
    Thank you

  10. October 4, 2015 / 9:31 am

    recipe will not print only last page will nothing that has to do will it

    • admin
      October 4, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      are you using the “print” button at the bottom of the recipe?

  11. Alicia
    April 6, 2015 / 1:38 pm

    Hi Chris, I did this today and every plate was empty after. I added one more cup of water. I wanted the fish a bit softer.

  12. Floyd James
    April 4, 2015 / 3:51 am

    Hey there! I want to use this recipe today for Easter for the wife and kids. Can I use salmon fillets instead? Love this site by the way!

    • admin
      April 4, 2015 / 9:38 am

      salmon is not as sturdy in texture as compared to the King fish, so keep that in mind when cooking – be gentle. Happy Easter

  13. Alan Boatman
    March 3, 2015 / 5:02 am

    What is a Kingfish in the Caribbean? Is it a King Mackerel or Wahoo or something like that? Thanks for your great site!!

    • March 15, 2015 / 12:43 pm

      Kingfish is King Mackerel. Very popular in the Carribean best eaten fresh. It is a little strong when frozen.

  14. Alicia Cook
    December 2, 2014 / 2:13 pm

    OMG….. i can almost taste it already….. headed to the grocery store right now! This is dinner!

  15. Brittney
    October 25, 2013 / 12:18 pm

    Hey I’m in tallahassee Florida but I don’t have access to King Fish… What’s another fish that would be great?!

    • angela
      December 18, 2014 / 2:03 pm

      Tilapia, red fish, drum

    • March 15, 2015 / 12:49 pm

      You should have no trouble finding kingfish there.I am in Fl also. You have to find a real fish market Publix and the like won’t have it. If you find a carribean or asian store the will have it.

  16. Deborah
    August 10, 2013 / 2:43 pm

    Oh my goodness … what a gorgeous recipe. I have fresh kingfish and am making this dish in another few minutes. Onion, tomato, green pepper, cilantro, curry and fish – what could be better food-wise? Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  17. liawill
    December 8, 2012 / 9:14 am

    curry fish and buss up shut oh my gosh out of this world

  18. victor diaz
    December 7, 2012 / 11:37 pm

    i have seen alot of chefs on the internet but i must say that you ae the best i have seen i guess i don't have to take that culinary course anymore,than you.

  19. Kia
    November 13, 2012 / 12:32 pm

    this was a great recipe! My family really enjoyed it!

    October 14, 2012 / 7:55 am


  21. realisstick
    September 20, 2012 / 3:30 pm

    Chris avid fan of yours. Can you skip the flour part and just place the fish in the sauce, without frying?

    • Y
      November 16, 2016 / 3:32 pm

      Hi, was there a response to the previous question: Can you skip the flour part and just place the fish in the sauce, without frying? Thanks

  22. rasmalai
    September 8, 2012 / 7:54 pm

    Thank for a wonderful recipe, it was so easy to follow still working on my roti skills

  23. Olga Irvin
    September 7, 2012 / 12:13 pm

    This is one of my favorite ways to have King fish. Chris thank you for handling your site so professionally. I hope to see you one day on the cooking network channel with your own show. You deserve it. I don't think they have anyone representing the Caribbean on that channel yet.

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