Thai Red Curry Fish Stew

Serves 6 – Scales well for 2

The spice level in prepared red curry paste varies by brand. Unless you know your preference, start with one tablespoon and add more to taste.  If you have access to Asian markets, try using a tablespoon of minced lemon grass and a couple of lime leaves instead of the lime zest,

This recipe works very well with chicken or pork. You can use other greens, or add zucchini, summer squash green beans, red bell peppers.

3 cups jasmine or basmati rice

½ tsp salt

1 large sweet potato or yam

2 13½ oz cans coconut milk, divided

1 tsp Thai Red Curry Paste, or more to taste

2 tsp freshly grated lime zest

2 tbsp each Asian fish sauce and firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 ½ lbs firm fish fillets, such as tilapia or halibut cut in 1 ½  inch cubes

6 oz fresh whole spinach leaves

1 cup each loosely packed basil and mint leaves, chopped (or 1 tbsp each, dry)

  1. Prepare the rice and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 1 inch of water to boil in a saucepan. Peel the sweet potato and cut into ½ inch cubes. Put in a steamer basket, place over boiling water and cover. Steam for about 10 minutes until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy pot, spoon in ¼ cup from the top layer of both cans of coconut milk and add the curry paste, whisking until blended. Cook over medium heat until nearly dry, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and add remaining coconut mile, lime zest, fish sauce and brown sugar. Simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to medium, add fish and spinach. Cover and cook until fish is no longer translucent, 5 to  7 minutes.
  6. Add sweet potato cubes, basil and mint. Stir and serve with rice and lime wedges.

Source: "Sunset Magazine", October 2007

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