Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#4 - Thai-style Spiced Coriander & Almond Fish

Thai-style Spiced Coriander & Almond Fish

1 kg fresh white firm fish fillets, (about 160g per person), chopped into chunky 5-6cm pieces
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup chopped shallots or 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
5 spring onions, roughly sliced
5-6 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 long red chillies, deseeded, or 1 tablespoon mild chilli paste
2 large handfuls fresh coriander
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 cans (around 800ml) coconut milk
1 large red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated rind and juice of 2-3 limes
extra coriander to garnish

Rinse the fish pieces, cover and set aside in the fridge.

Heat the oil in a large frypan and cook the shallots or onion and the spring onions for a few minutes over a medium heat until softened. Don't let the vegetables colour or brown.

Place the ginger, garlic, chillies, coriander, almonds, sesame oil, fish sauce and turmeric in a food processor and pulse or run the machine in bursts to process the mixture to a coarse paste.

Transfer the paste to the frypan with the onion mixture. Stir in the coconut milk and red pepper, then simmer gently for around 5 minutes to allow the flavours to develop. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fish pieces and cook for 5-6 minutes. Be careful not to stir the mixture too much as you don't want the fish to break up.

Add the lime rind and juice to the sauce just before serving.

Serve with rice or noodles, and garnish with a few coriander leaves.

Variations - instead of white fish, you can use salmon, allowing 10-12 minutes to cook. The sauce can also be thinned down with fish stock, water or extra coconut milk.

Chicken fillets or boneless breasts can be easily substituted for the fish in this recipe. Allow 20-25 minutes to cook the chicken, checking it is cooked through. You can also make a great vegetarian dish with cubes of kumara, courgette and pumpkin substituted for the fish - but remember to leave the fish sauce out of the paste.

Comments from the customers:

'This. Is. Delicious.' - Jeff Gray

Alterations made:

I used a lot less fish, almost half - but we are not big meat eaters in our family. There was just more sauce, and it was yum! I used an onion instead of shallots, and slightly fewer spring onions than the recipe said. I put in 2 tsp minced garlic, ginger, fresh in a tube coriander, and chilli paste - just guessed what would be the equivalent if I'd used 'true fresh' of the above... and it seemed to work beautifully. The limes were KEY - what a lovely flavour. Try not to substitute for lemons, splash out and get limes. I used cloves instead of coriander for a garnish - it was all I had!

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