Thai fish recipes are unique in their own way just like any other Thai recipes. The fine balance of the four flavors is essential in almost all the Thai dishes and this particular fish curry recipe is not at all an exception.
Thai red curry fish is a spicy dish which is made by cooking Thai red curry paste in coconut milk and the fish fillets are then cooked in the red curry. This recipe is very delicious and hearty and tastes awesome when served with plain cooked rice.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Preparation Time Required: 30-35 minutes
Cooking Time Required: 15-20 minutes
1 pound of firm fish fillets (cod, halibut or monkfish)
2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste
3 cups + ½ cup of fresh or canned coconut milk
4 bamboo shoots, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 2-inch fresh ginger root, finely chopped
5-6 kaffir lime leaves
5 Thai egg plants, quartered
For The Thai Red Curry Paste
4 tablespoons of garlic, peeled and sliced
1/3rd cup of dry red chilies
2 1-inch galangal roots, sliced
1 tablespoon of shrimp paste
1/3rd teaspoon of black peppercorns
2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
2 teaspoons of kaffir lime zest
½ cup of shallots, chopped
1/3rd tablespoon of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of cilantro roots
3 tablespoons of lemongrass, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons of coarse sea salt
1 mortar and pestle
1 stirring spoon
1 frying pan
Method Of Cooking
1. Take a frying pan and place it over the stove. Light up the flame and set it on medium low. Once the frying pan heats up, put the cumin seeds, black peppercorns and the coriander seeds in it and toast them for 3-4 minutes. To toast the spices, slowly shake the pan to move the spices in it and to facilitate even toasting of the spices. Toast the spices until they start making a popping sound.
Once that happens, turn off the flame and remove the frying pan from the stove. Let the toasted spices cool down for a few minutes so that they can be easily grinded.
2. Next, take a saucepan and fill it up with water. Place the saucepan on medium high heat and wait for the water to heat up. Once the water heats up, put the red dried chilies in the water and soak them for a few minutes. Once the chilies turn soft, take them out of the water and shake them to discard the excess water. Once done, set aside the chilies and prepare the other things.
3. Once the spices cool down, put them into a mortar and then grind them into a fine paste. Once the spices are grinded, transfer the ground spice mixture to a plate for later use. Then put the red dried chilies and salt into the mortar and pound them with the pestle until the chilies turn into a smooth paste.
Next, add-in the galangal and the lemongrass and pound them together while trying to mix them with the chili paste. Once the lemongrass and the galangal are pounded, add-in the kaffir lime zest, garlic cloves and the cilantro roots.
4. Pound everything together and then finally add-in the shrimp paste, the ground spices and the shallots. Pound the mixture for 20 minutes more or until you get a very fine paste. Once done, reserve 2 tablespoons of the prepared red curry paste and then store the rest of it in an air tight container.
Then take the Thai eggplants and cut off their tips. Then cut the eggplants in quarters. Next, take the bamboo shoots and cut them in half. Then slice the halves very thinly. Once the eggplants and the bamboo shoots are chopped, set them aside for later use.
5. Now take a skillet and place it on the stove. Light up the flame and maintain it on medium high. Then put 5-6 tablespoons of coconut milk into the pan and wait for it to heat up. Once the coconut milk heats up, add-in the red curry paste and then stir it to combine with the coconut milk.
Cook the red curry paste until it turns aromatic and the coconut milk starts releasing its oil. Then add 1/4th cup of coconut milk to the mixture. Stir the mixture to combine the excess coconut milk and then put the fish fillets and the kaffir lime leaves into the curry. Stir the mixture a bit to coat the fish fillets with the curry and then let them cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.
6. Once the time elapses, add the quartered eggplants and the bamboo shoot slices to the fish mixture. Follow that by adding the fish sauce and the brown sugar. Give a brief stir to the mixture to combine everything roughly.
Let the mixture cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes and then pour the rest of the coconut milk over the vegetables and the fish. Stir to combine the added coconut milk and then serve the warm Thai red curry fish with warm rice.
1. You need not add any oil to the pan for cooking the red curry paste. The coconut milk releases enough oil to cook the paste.
2. While grinding the ingredients for the red curry paste, try to pound the ingredients by holding the pestle at an angle of 65 degrees. Pound the ingredients by dragging them towards you. This helps to make the paste smoother by pounding the fibers as well. Pounding the ingredients by holding the pestle straight will make the ingredients bounce out of the mortar.
3. To prevent the ingredients from bouncing out of the mortar, guard the opposite side of the mortar by placing your hand above it. This will prevent the mortar from shaking and will also prevent the spices from bouncing out.
4. You must grind the drier or harder ingredients first while preparing the red curry paste. This makes the grinding process easier.
5. You can store the red curry paste in an air-tight container for upto 1 month.