No pictures of the Cincinnati Zoo yet – I’m still processing them. So you get a recipe.
One that made Beloved say, “You can make this ALL the time!”
I love Thai curries – they are tasty and super simple to make. So, I found myself with four tilapia loins (I prefer the loins, they are meatier and not quite as fragile as fillets), a can of coconut milk and several cans of Thai curry pastes the other night – and it was curry for dinner!
I know I promised that I wouldn’t throw a lot of recipes at you that required special ingredients, so while I used coconut oil in this dish, you can use vegetable or olive oil; clarified butter would work well, too. You’ll still get plenty of coconut flavor from the coconut milk (use “light” coconut milk if you must, but the dish won’t be quite as rich as I like).
Serve it over steamed jasmine rice, or do what I did – grate half a head of cauliflower and steam it, covered, in the microwave with a couple of tablespoons of water for 7 or 8 minutes. It was an interesting and tasty base for this wonderfully spicy dish.
Coconut Curry Fish
serves 3 – 4
4 tilapia loins, about 4 oz. each, or other mild white fish
salt and pepper
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/3 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil, divided
1 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste, depending on how spicy you want it
1 can coconut milk
1 cup chicken or fish broth
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar or Splenda
Season the tilapia with salt and pepper.
Heat a large, deep skillet over high heat until nearly smoking; add 3 tablespoons of the coconut or vegetable oil. Fry the fish until nearly cooked through, about 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Discard the pan juices that have accumulated in the skillet and return it to the heat; add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the onions to the skillet and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and peppers, and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, or until the peppers are tender-crisp. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and reserve with the fish.
Increase the heat slightly and add the curry paste to the skillet; fry, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds or until it becomes fragrant. Add the chicken or fish broth, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar or Splenda, stirring well after each addition. Return the fish and vegetables to the skillet, spooning the curry sauce over it, and heat for another 2 – 3 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
Serve immediately in wide, shallow bowls.