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Balinese Fish Curry Recipe (Kari Ikan)

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x
  • Category: main, seafood, fish,
  • Method: stove-top
  • Cuisine: Balinese


A fragrant Balinese Fish Curry with potatoes and authentic and vibrant flavor! Serve over rice or whole grains.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced ginger ( skin OK)
  • 1 shallot rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric – thinly sliced – skin OK( or sub 2 teaspoons ground)
  • 2 x 5 inch stocks lemongrass, thinly sliced into disks
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno ( this will be mild)
  • 5 kefir lime leaves
  • ——
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 810 ounces baby potatoes cut in half
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 lime- juice
  • sambal oelek, or chili paste or chili flakes for additional heat
  • 1012 ounces while fish- (alaskan cod, black cod, tilapia, halibut, sword fish, shrimp, scallops)
  • 1 cup peas, snap peas, green beans, bok choy or bell pepper ( veggies that can cook in 1-2 minutes)
  • Garnish with lime wedge, crispy shallots ( available at asian markets) , fresh mint, basil, scallions or cilantro
  • Serve over rice or whole grain ( it’s nice to toss a couple kefir lime leaves in with the cooking rice for a beautiful aroma)


Set the rice or grain to cook.

Place the thinly sliced ginger, lemongrass, shallot and turmeric in the food processor. Add the jalapeño, garlic, and lime leaves. Pulse until it becomes a paste, scraping down sides if necessary.

Heat coconut oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat. When hot, add fragrant paste and stir constantly until it browns lightly, about 3-4 minutes. Add 2 cups water, give a stir, bring to a boil. Add potatoes, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Remove the lid, and reduce the liquid just a little, letting it simmer uncovered for a few minutes. Add coconut milk, salt, fish sauce and the juice from one small lime. Taste. Remember this will go over rice, so the flavors will mellow. Add chili paste or flakes for more heat.

Place the fish into the coconut sauce and simmer gently for 5 more minutes. Toss in the spring peas, snap peas or green beans and cook for just a minute or two, keeping them vibrant and snappy.

Serve over rice with a lime wedge, crispy shallots, fresh mint, basil, cilantro or scallions.


Kefir Lime leaves and Crispy shallots can be found at Asian markets.  The fragrant leaves are often found in the freezer section – I always buy extra and freeze. You can also find frozen chopped lemongrass, which can be very handy to have on hand.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 546
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 836.2 mg
  • Fat: 19.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.8 g
  • Fiber: 4.6 g
  • Protein: 74.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 174 mg

Keywords: fish curry, curried fish recipes, fish curry recipes, balinese fish curry, potato curry, balinese recipes, recipes from bali