Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Kitchen Experiments - Coconut Fish Stew

Our newly wed friends were holding a dinner in their new home and so I decided to bring a dish for their dinner. I remembered I had a whole pack of coconut milk still sitting in their fridge and so I decided to try out this really quick and easy coconut fish stew. It is more or less like a thai green curry and it was really quite and easy to make. The only real labour in the whole dish was the pounding the spice paste, so if you aren’t in the mood for any real work, you can throw it all into the blender.

Instead of using choy sum, I used okra instead because I couldn’t find any choy sum in the supermarket and I like okra. Only after serving the dish I realized I was one of the few at the table that ate it, and so people kept picking them out and giving them to me, well, more okra for me them, it is their loss.

Serves 4

1 tbs peanut oil
680ml coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup fish sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
600g white fish fillets, cut into 3 cm cubes
1 bunch choy sum (I substituted with okra)
juice of 1-2 lemons
coriander leaves, to garnish

Spice Paste
1 lemongrass stem, roughly chopped
4cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 long green chili, roughly chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh coriander root
1 tsp ground cumin


To make the spice paste, place all ingredients in a food processor and process till smooth. (I used a pestle and mortar because I feel it brings out the flavours of the ingredients better)

Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the spice paste and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and sugar, then stir to combine.

Cook for about 5 minutes until the sugar is melted and the flavours are blended.

Add the fish and choy sum (or your veg) until the fish is just cooked through and the choy sum is just tender (about 2-3 minutes). Add enough lemon juice to blance the sweet and salty flavour to taste and garnish with coriander leaves.

To make it a one dish meal, you can add in some rice vermicelli or serve with some white rice.

*recipe taken from Delicious, April 2005


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