Crispy fish stir fried with curry paste, wild ginger and green peppercorns
( SERVES 6 )
To simplify this dish, substitute stir-fried strips of chicken, pork or beef for the deep-fried fish. Prawns (shrimp) and squid also make a great alternative.
Both krachai (a variety of ginger) and green peppercorns are difficult to source fresh, but imported pickled versions from Thailand make a great substitute. They can be left out, but if you want to expand your knowledge of Thai cuisine, they're worth using as both are common ingredients in stir-fries and curries.
|350 g||Fish fillets, quality, cut on the diagonal into thin medallions|
|500 ml||Vegetable oil, for deep-frying|
|2 Tbsp||Vegetable oil|
|2 Tbsp||Red curry paste|
|2 Tbsp||Light palm sugar|
|2 Tbsp||Fish sauce|
|1 Tbsp||Krachai, shredded, rinsed of brine|
|1 Tbsp||Green peppercorns, pickled, rinsed of brine|
|10||Kaffir lime leaves|
|½ cup||Basil leaves|
- Toss the fish pieces (cut on the diagonal into thin medallions) in the cornflour. Heat the oil in a wok to a medium heat.
- Deep-fry the fish in batches until crispy and golden. If the fish has been cut thinly, this should take only 3-4 minutes.
- Drain on a paper towel and repeat until all the fish is cooked. Drain the oil from the wok and set aside.
- Wipe out the wok, add the extra oil and heat to moderate before adding the red curry paste.
- Fry gently until fragrant, then add the palm sugar, fish sauce and water.
- Bring to the boil and simmer until the palm sugar has dissolved.
- Add the shredded krachai (rinsed of brine), peppercorns (rinsed of brine) and lime leaves.
- Simmer a few minutes then toss through all the fish.
- Lastly, add the basil and as soon as the leaves wilt, remove from the heat.