At home we have fish at least 3-4 times a week and I like to cook it in lots of different ways. Below are 2 recipes. I love the fact that fish so versatile, light and quick to cook. One of our favourite fish meals at the moment is my version of a Thai green curry. It so easy to make your own green curry paste and to keep it in the fridge. When I made this I mistakenly realised, after starting, that I didn’t have green chillis so I used red chillis instead. By the time they were blended you couldn’t really see the red chillis in the paste. A purist may question whether this is a true curry paste but it has a really good flavour and you can add as little or as much as you like.
I placed all the following ingredients in my blender, whizzed it to make the paste which I now store in a jar in the fridge. It’s enough for several curries and is just as good with chicken as fish.
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
½ tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
4-5 cms piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Juice and zest of 2 limes
3 stalks lemongrass very finely sliced
½ tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp Thai fish sauce
Green chillis (as many or as few as you like – I used 3 red chillis)
1 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
A little olive oil for moistness
Monkfish is a great fish to use in a curry as it doesn’t fall apart when stirred into a sauce. Gurnard also works well and sometimes I add pieces of squid and/or prawns.
The sauce is simple – I heat a little oil in a pan and add a finely chopped onion and cook that gently till soft. For a medium spicy sauce I add 3 tbsps of green chilli paste to the pan and 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic. For more delicate fish I use less paste. I cook that for a minute and then add a tin of coconut milk and 1 tbsp of Simon Gault’s fish stock (ie the concentrated stock before you add water). After another minute I add the juice and zest of 1 or 2 limes and a teaspoon of Thai fish sauce. I let this all simmer gently and reduce a little for 15-20 minutes. If it gets too thick add some water and maybe a bit more fish sauce.
While that’s simmering I cook some rice. Just before that’s ready add the fish and any other seafood you’re using. Cook for about 3-4 minutes at the most. Stir in a handful of finely chopped coriander and, if you feel like it, top with blanched beans and/or snow peas.
Serve on rice and sprinkle with more coriander.