Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Malaysian Fish Curry with Rice

It's rare when healthy food tastes decadently indulgent - but when it does, you have to embrace it. Like todays recipe for instance.

Since Mrs Ribeye and I made a pact to eat less meat, we were worried that our diet would become a bit less varied and monotonous. Far from it. Because I find myself cooking things I normally wouldn't have done a few weeks ago, the opportunity to create new and interesting dishes has meant that I have a new lease of cooking life, and I love it!

Whereas before, I would have been content to cook meat or chicken curries, I now make fish or vegetable curries. Wow, what a revelation. Fish curries are so light and tasty, with fresh-tasting flavours, that I feel a bit lighter and bouncier in myself. I kid you not, I love eating meat with a passion, but I'm quite getting into this whole 'pescatarian' thing (actually, shoot me now - a year ago someone called himself a pescatarian to me and I fell about laughing at the pretentiousness, and now look at me, the hypocrite).

Anyway, buy any white fish and whip up a quick curry paste, add some coconut milk and in minutes, dinner is made and another meat-free day chalked up. Today, I chose to make a Malaysian curry by adding nuts to the paste ingredients, but you could omit them and add fresh coriander for a sort of Thai green curry, or fresh grated coconut flesh for an Indonesian touch instead. Experiment!

I used black bream from my local fishmonger, at £7 per kilo, so this dish came in at £2.75 per serving. If I had used cod, it would've been dearer, or river cobbler would've been cheaper. Your choice.

Serves 4


Malaysian Curry Paste:

1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
2 tablespoons of either candle nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts or pine nuts
2 shallots, peeled
3 cloves of garlic
Thumb of ginger or galangal, peeled
2 stalks of lemon grass
2-3 dried chillies, to taste
3-4 curry leaves
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon each of ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and fennel powder
Pinches of salt and pepper

400ml coconut milk
4 large fillets of white fish - bream, haddock, sea bass, river cobbler, cod etc, cut into thick strips
500g cooked basmati rice, to serve
Fresh chillies, cut into rings, to serve
Asian broccoli (kai lan), to serve

Blend the curry paste ingredients together, and heat in a saucepan to release the aromas. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the fish and cook for a further 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh chilli rings and serve with the rice and kai lan.

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