Thai fish curry

I learnt a lot of things making this curry.  It was the first time I had ever cooked with fish, so I learnt a few things in the fish market about different types of fish and how long you need to cook it for.  I learnt that although I am beginning to come around to eating seafood, I can still only spend about four minutes in a fish market before the smell overwhelms me. I learnt that it is really difficult to take a nice photograph of curry. I also confirmed my knowledge that my housemate Suzie is the master of bad puns, when I asked her how many shallots I should put on my plate and she replied ‘Sha-lot of them’!

So, as you may have gathered from previous blog posts or the paragraphs above, my enthusiasm for food does not usually extend to our fine friends in the sea. The greatest level of distaste is reserved for shellfish, and I have varying degrees of tolerance for other seafood varieties.  Despite this, I would really like to be able to enjoy seafood – it can often be a lighter, fresher option that other types of meat, and I always look on in envy as friends are able to enjoy tuna on crackers as a healthy mid afternoon snack.

So, although I am not sure I will ever be able to enjoy wrapping my tongue around an oyster, I have been trying lately to develop my palate, starting with fish heavily disguised by other flavours – hence the motivation to make this fish curry. It does retain some of the fishy flavour, and if you wanted it to have a little bit more you could use a stronger tasting fish – just make sure you use something with fairly firm flesh that wont fall apart too much in the sauce. I served with rice which I had cooked with tumeric in the water – this wont affect the taste too much, but will make your rice look a little bit fancy!

Ingredients

  • 500g of white fish (I used goldband snapper)
  • Cornflour, to coat fish
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tsps yellow curry paste
  • 2 red chillis
  • 20g of ginger
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (white part only)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable stock (or fish stock if your feeling fancy)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • A good splash of fish sauce
  • 1 large handful of coriander, torn
  • 1 lime, for squeezing
  • Rice, to serve

Method

  1. Cut fish into 2-3cm cubes, and dust with cornflour
  2. In a large, deep pan, heat some oil and sear fish for 2-3 minutes on each side without cooking all the way through.  Set aside
  3. Place chilli, ginger, lemongrass and garlic in a food processor and grind into a paste.  I used my thermomix on speed 9 for about 5 seconds, then scraped down the sides and repeated. If you don’t have a food processor, you could chop/dice these ingredients finely and that would do the job.
  4. Using the same pan as you did for the fish, add more oil if needed and cook onion until soft and golden.
  5. Add the paste from step 3, along with the yellow curry paste.  Stir in with the onions, and allow to cook for a couple of minutes so the aromas release
  6. Add coconut cream, stock, lime leaves and coconut palm sugar.  Stir well and turn up the heat until the sauce comes to a boil.
  7. Reduce to a simmer, and add fish and fish sauce.  Cook for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice and sprinkle coriander, lime juice and shallots over the top to taste.

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