Thursday, 5 February 2015

Thai Green Fish Curry | Coconut Fish Curry

Thai cuisine is belong to a friendly and fun-loving, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic land called Kingdom of Thailand. Thailand radiates a golden hue from its glittering temples and tropical beaches to the ever-comforting Thai smile so as the Thai food. It comes as no surprise that Thai cuisine, as a whole, features many different ingredients and ways of preparing food. Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge and its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices.

It is known for its complex interplay of at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy.
Common flavors in Thai food come from garlic, galangal, coriander/cilantro, lemon grass, shallots, pepper, kaffir lime leaves, chillies, shrimp paste, fish sauce, and, of course, coconut milk. Palm sugar, is used to sweeten dishes while lime and tamarind contribute sour notes. Meats used in Thai cuisine are usually chicken, fish, shrimps and also duck, beef, and water buffalo. Goat and mutton are rarely eaten except by Muslim Thais. 
All above information I gained from a documentary on lonely plant, I was very keen enthusiastic and eager to try any of the recipes watched on show, and honestly deep in the heart had little bit muddled thoughts to try Thai food. I was puzzled how a dish would taste with lemon grass, galangal, fish sauce and chillies and sugar and lime and coconut milk and so on and on as I never tasted any Thai flavor. (...oh it was quite bad).
Even then, I decided to give it a try, a selected to make Thai green fish curry, because I had quite a little fish saved from a big dinner treat last night. Light and fresh, with a fiery flavor - this Thai fish curry features the classic combination of coconut milk and green curry paste. There are different types of curry pastes used in Thai foods i.e. red, green, yellow, spicy, and simple as well, one more thing learned was that Thais prefer to use freshly prepared Thai curry pastes. So do I, I collected all the necessary ingredients and prepared my own garden fresh unprocessed Thai green curry paste to get the fresher aroma and taste. I have used The Mottled Eel locally known as Bam and is easily available at fisheries, You can use fillets of any type, fresh or frozen fish. If you like, you can also add shrimp or other seafood to the pot/wok or vegetables for a healthy one-pot dish. It took only half an hour to cook, it is a speedy dish, so make sure you have your ingredients chopped and ready to go for a mouthwatering 30-minute meal.

The fish curry tastes so delectable you cant believe as I took the first bite all my confusion and unbalanced taste thoughts went away, the coconut flavor was very much mild totally opposite as I was considering it to be, lime and lemon grass and other greens merged together made a delicious combination, delicacy of fish was pairing great with sharpness of  curry. To sum up, it was a delicious meal, me and my family really liked it. Like all curries, this fish curry makes excellent leftovers as well as hot lunches to take to work.


Thai Green Curry Paste:

6 green chilies (deseed)
2 shallots, finely diced 
2 green onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp garlic, chopped 
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp galangal (or ginger), grated
2 tbsp lemon grass, the lower 2 inches, peeled
2 tbsp kaffir lime or lime zest
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp white or black peppercorns, toasted and ground
2 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
2 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tbsp shrimp paste or (1 extra tsp fish sauce)1 tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar (or more to taste) 

Fish Curry:

5-6 tbsp freshly prepared green curry paste
3-4 fillets or steaks or 1/2 kg fish, any type
1 medium tomato, cut into small pieces
1 can good-quality coconut milk 
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp green onion, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne or dried crushed chilies
Handful of fresh coriander 
Optional: 2-3 kaffir lime leaves, left whole (available at Asian stores, usually in the freezer)


Place all 'Thai Curry Paste' ingredients in a food processor, chopper, or blender. Process well to form the curry sauce. 
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat, stir in ginger, onion till its soft. Add tomatoes, salt, chili powder, turmeric and Stir well. Reduce heat to medium, or until it is simmering nicely. Cover and cook 6-8 minutes or until vegetables have softened to make a base sauce.
Pour sauce into the wok and set over medium-high heat. If you have kaffir lime leaves, add them too. Bring to a gentle boil.

Add fish and gently stir in and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat. Then reduce the heat nd continue simmering (covered) for another 5 minutes or until fish is flaking and cooked to your liking. 

Do a taste test for flavor, adding more fish sauce if not flavorful or salty enough. If too sour for your taste, add a little more sugar. If too salty or sweet, add 1-2 tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice. 
Spoon the fish with curry sauce into a serving bowl or serve straight from the wok. Sprinkle with coriander and garnish with lime or lemon wedges if desired. Accompany with Thai jasmine rice or simple chapatti... enjoy! 

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