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.
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
How to Make It
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.
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.
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
Quick From Scratch One-Dish Meals
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One of the best snapper recipes I've ever made! Subbed vegetable broth and coconut milk for the chicken broth and whole milk, doubled the garlic and curry paste and served over jasmine rice. Elegant but simple to throw together with the help of a food processor!
Fabulous dish!! I've made this twice already in the last month, the first going by the recipe,and the second time using salmon, coconut milk instead of regular milk, and about double the amount of red curry. Both times turned out equally delicious!! I'm going to make it with scallops next!
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