Fish curry with coconut and lemon grass
If you can get galangal, do give it a try, it is one of the oddest spices that I've ever tried. I've not yet decided on its flavour, but the perfume is similar to a very sweet bubble-gum, though its many decades since I've tried bubble-gum!
- 2 basa fillets
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Zest and juice of a lime or lemon
- ½ whole coconut, flesh removed and grated
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2.5 cm (1 ") fresh galangal root, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2.5 cm (1") fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 red chillies or small green indian chillies, finely chopped, see Chef's notes below.
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 5 cm (2") lemon grass very finely chopped - try to use the softest part as it generally has more of the natural oils which give the citronella flavour
- 1 tablespoon nam pla
- 200 ml of chicken stock
- 1 400 ml can of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon jaggery of brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- Fresh coriander and chopped red chilies to garnish
- Chop the fish into large bite-sized chunks and if not using basa, remove any skin and bones.
- Season the fish with a good pinch of salt and half of the citrus zest and juice.
- Using a dry wok, brown the coconut flesh, turning it regularly.
- Add the vegetable oil, ginger and galangal, chillies, garlic, lemon grass and fry for a few minutes.Add the nam pla to the tin of coconut milk and add the coconut milk to the wok by straining through a fine sieve. Reserve the strained cream to add later.
- Add the turmeric powder and the chicken stock together with the remaining citrus juice and zest.
- Taste and season with salt and black pepper if needed.
- Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the fish and simmer for another 8 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the sieved coconut cream.
I used 2 Indian green chillies and one similarly sized red chili, finely chopped, seeds not removed, and the heat was perfect. We would normally serve this with rice, but we had just been gifted some freshly dug new potatoes which actually went really well with this. Great for soaking up all that lovely gravy!
There is no need to peel ginger. As a result of attending a Thai cookery demo, we have learnt that peeling ginger is unnecessary unless for aesthetic purposes as the skin is high in fibre and full of flavour. However, do remove any bits that have become tough or woody.
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