Today, I have a follow-up recipe featuring Australis Barramundi. The former recipe was for a Miso-Glazed Barramundi with Homemade Rye Noodles. To refresh your memory, barramundi is a a moist, buttery, and meaty whitefish that is native to Australia and Southeast Asia. This time around, I decided to take advantage of barramundi’s meaty texture and incorporate it into a quick and easy Thai Green Fish curry.
At first glance, the list of ingredients may appear daunting, but minus a few harder to find ingredients, you should be able to procure most at your neighborhood supermarket. As for the remaining ingredients, if you have access to an Asian grocer, you should be in good shape. If you’re not feeling quite so ambitious, you could always substitute with a store-bought green curry paste (just keep in mind that you may want to alter the amount of paste you add to this dish, depending on the brand).
A few notes on the harder to find ingredients…
Kaffir lime leaves: kaffir lime leaves of the kaffir lime, native to Southeast Asia. They’re incredibly aromatic and add a unique floral note to dishes. I’ve wrote about lime leaves on several occasions (I’m mildly obsessed with them). I bought my kaffir lime leaves at Whole Foods, but just about any Asian market should carry them. Of note, lime leaves freeze well.
Galangal: Galangal is a root, also native to Southeast Asia. It has a piney, earthy taste with a tough, woody texture. There really isn’t a substitute, but the good thing is that galangal freezes well, so you can always stock up and save for a later date, when needed.
Shrimp paste: Don’t be alarmed by its pungent nature. Shrimp paste is fermented/salted shrimp. On it’s own, shrimp paste would probably overwhelm your palate. However, when mixed with other ingredients, it adds that quintessential umami quality; that little extra added flavor that just makes the dish what it is. It’s fermented and keeps a really long time.
Once you have your curry paste, homemade (which can be prepared a few days in advance) or store-bought, the rest of the dish comes together in minutes. It makes for a flavorful, quick, dinner any night of the week.
I like to top the fish curry with an assortment of fresh herbs (basil, Thai basil and/or cilantro), red chile, and a few wedges of lime…serve with rice and enjoy!
Thai Green Fish Curry
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 to 4 tablespoons Thai green curry paste (more or less depending on desired spice level and how fiery your chiles are)
1 can coconut milk, cream and milk separated
1 pound Australis Barramundi, cubed
3 to 4 kaffir lime leaves
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce (more or less to taste)
Handful of Thai basil leaves, for serving
Handful of cilantro leaves, for serving
Lime wedges for serving
Fresh red chile, sliced, for serving
Rice for serving
Heat coconut oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the Thai green curry paste and saute until aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Add the coconut cream and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, fish, lime leaves, and fish sauce. Cook until fish is cooked through.
Ladle into bowls. Serve with fresh herbs, lime wedges, chile, and rice.
Thai Green Curry Paste
3 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons Thai chiles, minced
2 tablespoons long green chiles, minced
1 tablespoon chopped galangal
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro root
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon minced fresh turmeric
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
*1 teaspoon roasted shrimp paste
1 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
pinch of salt
Pound with a mortar and pestle until a paste forms. Or blend with a blender (adding a little water) until a paste forms.
*To toast shrimp paste: Wrap the shrimp paste loosely in foil. Place the foil over a gas stove burner and toast over low heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, until lightly browned, dry, and crumbly.