Cambodian fish curry in a coconut: cracking recipe
This recipe is really nice and presents itself so well, as I think you’ll agree with the picture. A little painful to make though, yep a tad fiddly and some ingredients may be a little tough to find if not in Asia, but give it a shot. It is seriously dressed to impress and tastes absolutely and seriously sublime. Not dissimilar from my Fish Amok curry I learned in Cambodia (remember that?) this is my Cambodian fish curry in a coconut.
I’ll do my usual and try to make it as easy as possible to follow, by breaking it into sections to create the outcome of Cambodian fish curry in a coconut;
Step I – The marinade
- 1 cup of coconut milk – pour it into a large bowl;
- 3 firm white fish fillets sliced into bite-sized pieces, place in the bowl with the coconut milk; and
- 1 or 2 big octopus legs, sliced into thin pieces – if you have a meat tenderiser hammer give the pieces a quick bash and also place in the bowl.
Step II – The curry paste – you can do this with pestle and mortar (traditional) or blitz it all in a blender
- 4 stalks of lemon grass, peel off a layer or two, top and tail, and slice finely;
- 5 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped;
- 2 inches of young ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces;
- 1 inch of galangal peeled and cut into small pieces;
- 2 tablespoons of Turmeric;
- 2 chili padi finely sliced;
- 1 red onion finely chopped;
- 1 tablespoon of palm sugar, or brown sugar;
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce; and
- A good pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
Blitz all of this in the blender until it turns to a smooth paste and stir that into the coconut marinade. Stir it through and beat 3 eggs into the mixture.
Step III – the coconuts
- 5 young Thai coconuts, remove the lids and pour the milk into a jug – a very refreshing drink on the side as you are cooking.
Now comes plating time for Cambodian fish curry in a coconut. Spoon in the curry mixture in each coconut, up to about half an inch from the top of the coconut. Make sure all have equal portions of the fish and the octopus. You clearly don’t want any dinner-time arguments.
Now you need to take a big bamboo steamer, place it in a wok, and pour a load of water in. You don’t want the water above the ‘grills’ of the steamer though. Steaming is required, not bathing. Place the coconuts on the steamer and then take a big roll of silver foil and make a tent above the coconuts for the steam to circulate as the water starts to boil.
Bash on the heat and once it starts to boil let it go for about 30-40 minutes, until the fish is cooked and the liquid starts to set a bit because of the eggs. You can always let it go for another 10 minutes if needs be. Out they come – nearly finished now for your Cambodian fish curry in a coconut.
Step IV – Plating
- Place the coconuts on a serving platter; and
- Take a small rounded bowl and pack it with plain cooked white rice, like building sand castles, quickly turn it onto the platter and remove slowly – hey presto a little white rice sand castle.
Finish off the coconuts with;
- A little drizzle of coconut cream;
- Some finely sliced Kaffir lime leaves; and
- Some finely sliced Jalapeño peppers.