Monday, 17 September 2012

Thai Yellow Seabass

This is my take on a curry that I had in Thailand Gaeng Karee Gai, this is traditionally a chicken dish but I have decided to do this with seabass, only because I love fish. Making your own thai curry paste is becomming easier to do these days as the range of thai ingredients are widely available in local supermarkets. I love my local market and i'm all for buying locally and supporting small businesses but I have to admit that i'm really impressed with the variety of ingredients available in my local morrisons. Being able to buy fresh turmeric root gets me very excited and always gets my culinary juices flowing, fresh turmeric has a unique flavour and this cannot be replicated with powder. I have dumbed this dish down a little for the average brits palate, authentic thai curries are extremely fiery. I have used less chillies in the recipe but if you like a bit of a kick by all means add more.
You will need:
For the paste
2 thumb sized pieces of turmeric root peeled
1 thumb sized piece of galangal peeled
5 red chillies 
3 solo garlic cloves skins removed
1 large shallot
2 lemon grass sticks, tough outer leaves removed
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp of shrimp paste
3 tsp sea salt 
4 tablespoon of sugar
1 bunch of coriander stalks
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves

For the sauce:
400ml of coconut cream
the juice of a lime
100g of unsalted cashews
a small bunch of thai sweet basil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
a small bunch of coriander
1 tsp of fish sauce

2 Large whole sea bass

I like to make my paste in a pestle and mortar because you can take all your aggression out on the paste. Using the salt and sugar as an abrasive smash each item of the paste. Combine all the items and continue to crush until the paste is reasonably smooth. If you are pushed for time this can be done in a food processor.
Using a few tablespoons of coconut cream in a sauce pan, cook the cream until the oil separates away, then fry the paste for five to ten minutes until the aromas of the paste are released. Add the remaining coconut cream and allow to cook for a further five to ten minutes. Add the sugar, lime juice and fish sauce, turn off the heat.
Place the fish onto grill for 7-10 minutes either side, depending on the size of the fish. Add the sweet basil and coriander to the sauce and pour over the fish. I decorate the fish with toasted cashew nuts for texture and sliced spring onions and more herbs.
Serve with sticky rice, it's amazing even if I do say so myself. 

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