I think one of the simplest, easiest ways to do something a little fancy with fish is in a green curry. The coconut, coriander, chilli and lime flavours complement many different types of white-fleshed fish wonderfully. Serves about 2 or 3 if you’re really hungry, which you should be after cooking this delicious dish! Might serve 4 if you want to leave your guests wanting more. It’s a good technique but is considered cruel in some circles, especially among my fishing buddies!
First you need to make the curry paste:
- 2 red chillis
- 2 green chillis
- 1 kaffir lime leaf (or a splash of lime juice if you can’t get leaves)
- 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
- small knob of ginger
- 1tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- small knob of palm sugar
- about 5cm stem of lemongrass, cut finely
- small handful of shallots or a little onion if you don’t have shallots
Grind all of this up in a sturdy mortar and pestle. Make sure you really grind the coriander seeds into dust, or else they will add a nice fish scale-like texture to the dish 🙂
Separately, boil 3 or 4 good quality potatoes, diced roughly, until tender. Drain. Next heat the curry paste in some vegetable or peanut oil over a medium heat until fragrant. Add 1 tin of coconut milk or light coconut cream, depending on your taste. Some people would add a little fish sauce at this point, but this is optional depending on the type of fish being used.
Bring coconut juice to a simmer, add potatoes and a few handfuls of green beans, halved, and cook for 5 minutes. Add 500 grams of roughly diced white fish, cover, and cook for no longer than 5 minutes or until fish is just-cooked. Be careful not to overcook, as the fish may become dry. Serve on a bed of steaming jasmine or basmati rice and sprinkle with some roughly cut fresh coriander.
I think this dish is best suited to flathead and kingfish, but salmon goes really well if you want a slightly fishier flavour. Pretty much any white fish will work a treat. I hope you enjoy this simple dish!