Leo Gong
Total Time
45 Mins
Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups of curry and 1 cup of rice)

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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 4

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

Step 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.

Step 6

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

Step 7


Step 8

Chicken: Substitute boned, skinned breast for the fish. Cut into 1/4- by 1/2- by 2-in. strips to ensure quick cooking.

Step 9

Pork: Use tenderloin in place of the fish, trimming fat and cutting meat into 1/4-in.-thick strips.

Step 10

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

Step 11

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.

Step 12

Switch the starch: Yukon Gold potatoes work nicely in place of sweet potato and have a similar cooking time.

Chef's Notes

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.

Ratings & Reviews

stellacorona's Review

July 25, 2013
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.

LeanneJoy's Review

October 02, 2012

Lalena82's Review

October 19, 2011
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.

DrDannie's Review

February 28, 2010
Made this again tonight (I actually forgot I had made it a few years ago) and my husband raved (again).  I added diced red bell pepper during the last five minutes to the steamed sweet potatoes and the colors were beautiful.  To the reviewer who couldn't find the Notes - look at the 7th line down from the very beginning of the recipe description.  Will definitely make again, but this time I won't wait so long.  I agree with the reviewer who said not to forget the mint - it brightens the entire dish.

KAOS13AL's Review

February 20, 2010

dan1olson's Review

May 05, 2009
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.

rgardner2's Review

January 27, 2009
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!