Light coconut milk works well in this fish stew, and prepared Thai red curry paste, found in most supermarkets, makes it a snap to put together.
3 cups jasmine rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large sweet potato (often labeled
2 cans (13 1/2 oz. each) light coconut milk, divided
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (see Notes)
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest (green part only; see Notes)
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 pounds firm fish fillets, such as halibut or tilapia
6 ounces fresh whole spinach leaves
1 cup loosely packed basil
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
How to Make It
Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and salt. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, bring 1 in. of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Peel sweet potato and cut into 1/2-in. cubes. Put in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
While sweet potato is cooking, spoon about 1/4 cup from top of coconut milk in each can (the thick opaque layer) and put in a 4- to 5-qt. pot or deep sauté pan. Add curry paste and whisk until smoothly blended. Stir mixture over medium heat until nearly dry, 3 to 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining coconut milk, lime zest, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Simmer 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut fish into 1 1/2-in. cubes. Increase heat to medium; add fish and spinach. Cover and cook until fish is no longer translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
Chop basil and mint and stir into stew along with sweet potato cubes. Serve with rice and lime wedges.
Chicken: Substitute boned, skinned breast for the fish. Cut into 1/4- by 1/2- by 2-in. strips to ensure quick cooking.
Pork: Use tenderloin in place of the fish, trimming fat and cutting meat into 1/4-in.-thick strips.
Swap the greens: Try green Swiss chard instead of spinach: Thinly slice stems and steam with sweet potato in step 2; thinly slice the leaves and add with fish in step
Make it bountiful: Add chopped zucchini or other summer squash, green beans, thinly sliced red pepper, or slivered sweet onion to the sweet potato for the last 5 minutes of steaming time.
Switch the starch: Yukon Gold potatoes work nicely in place of sweet potato and have a similar cooking time.
The spice level in prepared red curry pastes varies depending on the brand, so taste before using. Start with 2 tbsp., then increase it if you like. For a more authentic flavor, add 1 tbsp. minced lemon grass and 2 makrut (Kaffir) lime leaves instead of the grated lime zest in step 4, and use Thai basil instead of regular. Find these ingredients at Asian markets and in specialty-produce departments.
Loved THIS !!! followed other suggestions and added (tubed) lemon grass, garlic, & roasted red pepper. i threw in some crushed red pepper as well, my red curry didn't seem very spicy. only had 10 ozs tilapia, so used 3 cups spinach, but used called for liquid. was great. served over pink rice. this would be a nice company dish. chicken or shrimp would work too.
I actually didn't like this like I thought I would, and I'm not sure what the reason is other than I felt it should be much more flavorful & spiced that it actually was. Unfortunately, I wouldn't make it again.
Made this again tonight (I actually forgot I had made it a few years ago) and my husband raved (again).Â I added diced red bell pepper during the last five minutes to the steamed sweet potatoes and the colors were beautiful.Â To the reviewer who couldn't find the Notes - look at the 7th line down from the very beginning of the recipe description.Â Will definitely make again, but this time I won't wait so long.Â I agree with the reviewer who said not to forget the mint - it brightens the entire dish.
This recipe did not work for me. However, it may have been due to the kind of fish (whiting) that I used. It was bad enough so that we threw in the towel and went out to eat. Maybe with the right fish it would be good.
Wow! This one is really good. I recommend using 1 can of lite coconut milk and one regular. This makes it a little richer. Also do not omit the mint like the previous comment says. The mint really adds a lot to the dish. Enjoy!
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