Red Snapper on Rice with Red-Curry Carrot Sauce

Food & Wine
Red Thai curry paste gives this pureed carrot sauce spiciness and depth of flavor. The sweetness of the carrots along with a touch of brown sugar balances the heat but in no way erases it. Use less curry paste if you prefer.


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1 cup jasmine or other long-grain rice
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 pound carrots (about 4), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
1 1/2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
1 3/4 teaspoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 pounds red snapper fillets
1/3 cup cilantro leaves (optional)
Lime wedges, for serving


1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a small saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, without removing the lid, for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the carrots, garlic, and broth to a boil. Cook, covered, over moderately low heat until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Puree the carrots, garlic, and broth in a blender and pour back into the pan. Add the milk, fish sauce, curry paste, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

3. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the fish with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook the fish, skin-side down, until golden, about 4 minutes. Turn, reduce the heat to moderate, and continue cooking until just done, about 4 minutes longer for 1-inch-thick fillets. Mound the rice on plates and top with the fish and the sauce. Sprinkle with the cilantro, if using, and serve with the lime wedges.

Wine Recommendation: Very few wines mesh as well with Asian spiciness as riesling; it's the clear choice here. Go for an off-dry one from Washington State.

Notes: Asian fish sauce and red Thai curry paste are available at Asian markets and many supermarkets

Created date

June 2004