This recipe is adapted from Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia and it is written by an American\Canadian couple who have merged their love for cooking with their love for traveling and started writing cookbooks. They have several out but this is the only one I have tried (the rest I have on request at the library). All their recipes are part of sections that include beautiful descriptions about the regions the recipes are from. It really puts you in the mood.
This recipe was so good it had my boyfriend asking for more fish – and he usually isn’t a huge fan unless it is raw – so thats a good sign. It was also a great way to use up fish from the freezer, I used Tilipia that I had bought at Coscto and vacuum packed. I actually made this again last night and threw in some steamed broccoli at the end, which added some veggies and of course removed some of the authenticity, but never mind. I did modify this recipe from the original a bit to use dried rather then fresh lime leaves but by all means if you can find them – use them. Serve with jasmine rice.
Spicy Coconut Fish Curry (Pas Sousi Haeng)(serves 2)
Adapted from Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia
1. Cut fish fillets into at most 1/2″ thick pieces that will be an easy to stir fry size. Toss with 1/2t of salt and 1/2t pepper, cover and set aside.
2. Prepare the spice paste. Cut the green onions in half where the white part turns to green, chop and set aside the green part. Cut off the roots and finely mince the rest. Remove the peppers from the soaking water and save the water. Chop them and add to the scallions and chopped shallot. Place in either a mini food processor or mortar and pestle and process into a paste.
3. Prepare all ingredients so they are handy (i.e. chop cilantro).
4. Heat a wok to medium-high heat and add oil. Swirl to coat the pan. Stir Fry the fish just enough to seal but enough to fall apart. (If you are skilled enough brown both sides). You don’t want it completely cooked at this point. Remove fish and set aside.
5. Clean wok if necessary and bring back to medium high heat. Open the can of coconut milk without shaking and add the thickest part to the wok. Cook until the oil separates – about 5 minutes. Add spice paste and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add remaining coconut milk and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer. Add fish and lime leaves in and cook until fish is cooked, flake until it is in easy serving pieces. Add most of the scallions and cook for another 30 seconds.
6. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro and remaining scallions.