The Asian ingredients in this recipe are widely available in supermarkets with good import sections. Serve this curry with steamed Chinese snow peas and rice. Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes.
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks fresh lemon grass
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 can (13 1/2 oz.) coconut milk
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
4 pieces (1 in. thick; 5 oz. each) boned, skinned tender, white-fleshed fish, such as sturgeon or black cod, rinsed and dried
How to Make It
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a medium pan over medium heat. When hot, add shallots and garlic; stir often until limp, about 2 minutes.
Trim ends from lemon grass stalks and peel off tough outer layers; crush with the flat side of a large knife, then cut into lengths that will fit in your pan. Stir curry paste, ginger, turmeric, and the lemon grass into pan; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and lime peel; simmer, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove lemon grass. Add salt to taste.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°. Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Pour remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil into a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn pieces and transfer pan to oven. Bake just until fish is opaque in center of thickest part, about 8 minutes.
Spoon curry sauce onto four plates and top with fish.
Wine pairing: Off-dry but crisp Riesling, with aromatic citrus, apple, and tropical notes over good minerals. Best in our pairing: Poet's Leap 2004 (Columbia Valley, WA; $22), V. Sattui off-dry Johannisberg 2004 (Napa Valley; $18), and Firestone 2004 (Central Coast, CA; $10).
Flavor bridges: A little sugar in the Riesling matches the sweetness and tames the spice in the dish. Low alcohol and fruitiness lower the heat too. Sweetness in the wine also gives it weight--viscosity--to match the mouth-feel of the coconut milk. Good acid, on the other hand, cuts through that richness for a mouthwatering effect (a flabby wine would go flat). Citrus and tropical notes echo the lemon grass, lime, ginger, and aromatic spices in the curry.
The sauce makes this 5 stars for me. It was so simple and soooo delicious. My grocery store didn't have much selection of decent white fish so I just ended up using some thin filets of orange roughy. The fish part of the recipe was okay, but the sauce really was what made it. I think I'll try it with chicken and onions to replicate a restaurant dish that I loved and could never come close to. I think this will be very close.
This dish was fantastic. Did not change a thing! only added some green onion to the top and squeezed fresh lime juice on the fish when serving. My family said this is a definite keeper. BEST homemade green curry sauce to date. My SO said better than the restaurant variety! Thank you for getting my family to eat some grilled fish.
We will make this recipe again. Everyone wanted seconds and it was easy to make. Fairly mild on the spice scale so add more green curry paste if you like it hotter. Substituted low fat coconut milk for regular and used halibut for the fish. Served over brown rice and with a broccoli salad.
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