I haven’t blogged much of late, due to a few windy days, then the arrival of family here to spend some time with us. Todd, Deb and the Baby Bump flew up to Coral Bay from Perth on August 17th and spent 5 nights in Bayview Lodge nearby. It was our first meeting with “the Bump” and possibly mum-and-dad-to-bes’ last holiday before baby is born. It was a really special family time.
We spent the 5 days of their visit fishing (Todd and Russ did that) lazing on the beach or by the pool (Deb and I did that), 4WDing along the local beaches and tracks, eating, visiting the bakery (for more eating), dining out at Finns Restaurant (still MORE eating) and up at the pub for happy hour (eating was done at home afterwards). We now know the bakery make good smoothies, toasted focaccias, pies, sausage rolls, pasties, fetta and spinach pasties, croissants and chocolate croissants. As well as the bread and rolls we normally buy!
Our family left, we booked ourselves yet another week here, cast aside all thoughts of food (especially from the
bakery) and got ourselves out fishing two days in a row. We did pretty well on both days bringing home the usual suspects-Charlie Court Cod and Red Throat Emperor and a Spangled Emperor, so I made another blogable fish dish last night. I’ve cooked it before and the original is posted to food.com by chef flower but I am posting it here as I made it for two people (original recipe is for 4 and uses more fish).
First up, I sent Russ all over Coral Bay (well to the two shops) looking for a jar of red curry paste. He came back empty handed and suggested I “might have to make it”. Shock, horror, I’ve never actually made red curry paste.
As usual, I looked at about 10 recipes, all claiming to be authentic or nearly so, then decided to make my own to suit. I’m quite proud to say, we had every ingredient on hand in the caravan. The lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves were bought at a farmers market in Northern Territory, then frozen to get them across the WA/NT border. I knew I’d need them eventually!
Coral Bay Red Curry Paste
- 15 dried chillies, cut the tops off and shake out the seeds to discard
- boiling water
- 4 lemongrass, white tender bits only (about 5cm)
- 2.5cm galangal sliced fine (jarred galangal is OK, but ginger won’t do apparently)
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, I used jarred as I have issues storing chopped, fresh for more than a day or two
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (could have used toasted seeds here)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (could have used toasted seeds here)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (only in one recipe, but I thought it would add colour)
- 3 coriander roots including a bit of the stems (no roots? Use the stems only)
- 1 teaspoon white pepper (bet ours wasn’t anything related to the amazing stuff we had in Cambodia and Vietnam)
- 1/2 medium red onion (was supposed to be 5 shallots)
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (Don’t have it? Use salt)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Soak the chillies in the boiling water for 15 minutes, then drain.
- Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you get a paste.
I ended up with a bit of a chunky paste with my little processor but it was still fine. You could do this in a mortar with your pestle but I didn’t have the time.
Curried White Fish With Peas and Onions
Peas and Onions Salad
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted in boiling water, drained plunged into cold water, drained
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped into pea size
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
Thai Red Curry Sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 240 coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar,
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, ripped
- 400g white fish fillets
- Spray oil
To make the salad: Combine pea, tomato and red onion, into a small bowl and set aside until later use.
To make the sauce:
- Add a medium saucepan on the stove at high heat.
- Once the pan is hot, add oil, then curry paste, stir to combine well, and until fragrant.
- Add coconut milk and mix well to combine.
- Bring sauce to boil, then reduce heat.
- Add fish sauce and palm sugar, mix well to combine. Add the lime juice and basil, stir and remove from heat.
To make the fish:
- Spray a reasonable amount of oil onto a large skillet and heat.
- Once pan is hot carefully place fish onto the skillet and cook the fillets between 2 to 4 minutes (depending the thickness of the fish).
- Shake the pan to make the fish move then turn them over and cook another 2-4 minutes.
- Cook until done to your liking.
- Divide salad mixture equally into the centre of 2 serving plates.
- Arrange fish on top of salad, top fish with equal amounts of curry sauce Or you could put curry into small sauce bowls and serve with the fish and salad. Garnish with fresh red chilli slices and or fresh coriander if you wish.