Thai Red Curry Fish Stew

Thai Red Curry Fish Stew Recipe
Leo Gong
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.

Yield:

Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups of curry and 1 cup of rice)
Total time: 45 Minutes

Recipe from

Sunset

Recipe Time

Total: 45 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 707
Caloriesfromfat 17 %
Protein 38 g
Fat 13 g
Satfat 5.5 g
Carbohydrate 113 g
Fiber 4.9 g
Sodium 965 mg
Cholesterol 36 mg

Ingredients

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
Lime wedges

Preparation

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining coconut milk, lime zest, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Simmer 5 minutes.

5. 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.

6. Chop basil and mint and stir into stew along with sweet potato cubes. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

Variations:

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 5.

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.

Note:

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.

October 2007
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