Thai-Style Pressure Cooker Fish

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Thai-style fish starts with firm white fish fillets steamed in banana leaves after a quick soak in a coconut milk and Thai curry marinade. Then the pressure cooker fish is drizzled with the remaining marinade and topped with a fresh mango salsa. A simple Thai curry flavored marinade adds tropical flavor to this Thai-Style Pressure Cooker Fish recipe. 

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Thai-Style Fish

Hola from the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas! It’s Tamara here from Beyond Mere Sustenance, and I am excited to share a favorite recipe of mine that I recently adapted for the pressure cooker. Thai-Style Pressure Cooker Fish is based on my Thai Curried Snapper In Banana Leaves. I have until recently wrapped the fish up in banana leaves, and steamed them in my bamboo steamer over my wok. I find the pressure cooker saves a little time, and involves less clean up. I’d say that’s a win/win situation!  

Making Thai-Style Fish in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this delicious Thai-style fish recipe!

I recently moved to the Rio Grande Valley (in Texas near the Gulf of Mexico). The climate has brought its challenges (endless summer and high humidity), but the produce and seafood options are amazing! I love the tropical fruits, unusual vegetables (opo squash and chaya), and the bountiful fresh fish and shellfish.

fresh fish filet coating with a Thai-style lime and green curry marinade

Banana leaves make a perfect wrapper for steaming in the pressure cooker. I actually have 3 banana “trees” in my garden, but the stiff daily breeze shreds the leaves. However, the markets carry packets of beautiful banana leaves that I assume are grown in more sheltered conditions. I use kitchen shears to cut them into the right shape and size for what I’m doing.

The fish gets a short soak of about 30 minutes in a Thai curry marinade. It is then topped with lime slices and chopped cilantro, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes. While the fish steams, prep the mango salsa, and simmer the marinade to make a sauce. We love Thai Curried Snapper In Banana Leaves with coconut rice, and some grilled or sauteed veggies.

white dinner plate of Thai-Style Pressure Cooker Fish with coconut rice and mango salsa

To put it all together, unwrap those lovely banana leaf packets, and carefully lift the fish on to your plates. Remove the lime slices, drizzle with the marinade/sauce, add a scoop of mango salsa, and garnish with chopped cilantro and scallions. The remaining sauce is delicious over your sauteed or steamed veggies, and don’t forget the coconut rice!

Lastly, banana leaves may not be available in your area… Alas, all is not lost. You can wrap the packets in parchment, and then again in foil. See Pressure Cooker Fish In A Packet from Hip Pressure Cooking for specific instructions.

Serve with Pressure Cooker Coconut Rice for a meal that evokes images of palm trees swaying in the breeze!

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Thai-Style Fish

Thai-Style Pressure Cooker Fish

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A simple Thai curry flavored marinade adds tropical flavor to fresh fish steamed in banana leaves. Serve it with coconut rice and stir-fried veggies for a meal that evokes images of palm trees swaying in the breeze!


  • 2 fish portions (see notes)
  • 1 lime, cut in thin slices
  • banana leaves (see Notes)
  • a handful of cilantro leaves, chopped for serving
  • 1 scallion, chopped for serving


  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • zest of 1 lime and juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

Mango Salsa

  • 1-2 mangos, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 3/4 cup small dice)
  • 1-2 fresno or jalapeno chiles, minced
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • a handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime


  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Pour marinade over the fillets. Soak for 30 minutes (more or less is fine too).
  2. While the fish soaks in the marinade, combine the ingredients for the mango salsa.
  3. Depending on the size of the fillets, cut a generous piece of banana leaf. Wrap it up burrito-style to form a fairly tight packet. The leaves will probably tear along the veins. This is okay. Use kitchen shears to trim away the excess.
  4. Add 2 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Place a steamer in the pressure cooker. The water should not touch the lower tier of the steamer.
  5. Add your fish packets to the steamer. Cover and lock.
  6. Pressurize on high for 10 minutes. Do a quick pressure release. Leave the lid in place until ready to plate.
  7. While the fish is cooking, pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer until ready to plate the fish.
  8. To serve, remove the fish portions from the packets. Discard lime slices. Garnish with a drizzle of curry sauce, a scoop of mango salsa, and a bit of fresh chopped cilantro and scallion if desired. Enjoy!


This dish works really well with firm white fish such as sea bass, grouper, snapper, and cod. If the fillets are thick, roll them or fold them inside the packet.

You can double the recipe if you can easily fit them in your pressure cooker loosely in a steam basket. If not, leave the fish in its wrapper and keep warm while you repeat on additional fish.

Thai curry pastes contain chiles. If you're not familiar with them, they're spicy! Whisk the marinade ingredients together using a smaller amount, and add to taste (before adding the fish).

I keep store-bought curry paste on hand, and I sometimes make my own. Both yield delicious results!

The marinade is quite a generous amount for 2 fish portions. After it is simmered gently for a few minutes, it is poured over the steamed fish. There is plenty to pour over some simple sauteed vegetables as well. We love a mixture of squash (opo, zucchini, yellow) and red bell peppers.

Our favorite way to serve this is with coconut rice! I have a recipe on my blog for Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice. The Coconut Rice in that post is good, and there are others on the internet as well.

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titled photo collage of Thai-Style Pressure Cooker Fish steamed in banana leaves topped with fresh mango salsa.
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