Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thai Fish Coconut Curry

Thai Fish Coconut Curry 
- 1 to 1.75 lbs. (500-800 g) white-fleshed fish fillets or steaks (talapia, halibut, cod, basa, etc...)
- 1/3 cup dry unsweetened shredded coconut, baking type
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, or equivalent of canned pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seed
- handful fresh coriander
- 1 can good-quality coconut milk
- 2 shallots OR 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili from the spice aisle
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal or fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the bottle at Asian/Chinese food stores)
- 3/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1.5 to 2 Tbsp. brown sugar (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. ketchup OR tomato puree (if using puree, sweeten it with 1/2 tsp. sugar)
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 3 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice

1. Place shredded coconut in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until coconut turns light golden brown and fragrant. Tip toasted coconut into a bowl to cool.

2. Place all 'Curry Sauce' ingredients in a food processor, chopper, or blender. Blitz to create a fragrant yellow curry sauce. (If you don't have such a device, simply mince everything well and stir together.)

3. Pour sauce into a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the fish, pineapple chunks, tomatoes, cumin, and half the toasted coconut (reserve remainder for serving). Stir and bring to a gentle boil.

4. Once sauce is bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Allow fish curry to simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked (fish will firm up, turn opaque, and flake easily).

5. Taste-test the curry for salt, spice, and sweetness, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough. If not sweet enough for your taste, add more sugar. If too sweet, add another squeeze lime juice. Add more chili for more spice.

6. Portion curry out into individual bowls or plates with rice on the side. Sprinkle over some toasted coconut and fresh coriander. Lime wedges can also be added.

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