Spinach wrapped fish with red curry of mussels
( SERVES 4 )
The spice paste used in this dish may seem a bit intimidating, but it is really simple. And once you have assembled all the ingredients, the dish is quick to make.
|1 bunch||Spinach, washed|
|800 g||Fish fillets|
|3 kgs||Mussels, in their shells|
|1½ Tbsp||Red curry paste|
|400 ml||Coconut milk|
|1 Tbsp||Fish sauce|
|1 Tbsp||Brown sugar|
|4||Red chillies, seeded and chopped|
|1 handful||Fresh coriander|
|½ cup||Basil leaves|
Red Curry Spice Paste
- Wash the large bunch of spinach, leaving the stems on.
- Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, then hold onto the root end of the stems and plunge the spinach leaves into the water for 30 seconds.
- Remove and lay the stems flat on a tea towel to cool. Pick the leaves off the stems, taking care to flatten them.
- Season the 4 x 200g fillets of fish with a little salt, then take 4 pieces of plastic wrap and spread a few of the leaves out on each one.
- Place a piece of fish on top of the spinach, then wrap the fillet tightly in the plastic wrap. Repeat the process. Fill the bottom of a steamer with water and bring it to a simmer.
- Place the fish on the steamer tray and place it over the simmering water. Cook until the fish is ready - about 8 minutes - then remove from the heat.
- Unwrap the fish and set aside to keep warm.
- Clean the mussels in their shells thoroughly under cold running water, then remove the beards.
- Steam the mussels open in a scant amount of water over a high heat for 3 minutes. Remove the shells, then set the mussels aside, reserving the juices in a bowl.
- Heat a large frying pan or wok, then add the curry paste.
- Cook until it becomes fragrant, then stir in a small amount of the coconut milk until the paste dissolves in the milk - it will look as if it has split, but this is okay.
- Add the fish sauce and sugar, the remaining coconut milk, a splash of the mussel cooking liquid and the chillies (seeded and chopped).
- Cook until the sauce thickens - about 4 minutes - then return the mussels to the pan along with the herb leaves.
Red Curry Spice Paste
- Remove the stalks from the chillies, then chop the flesh. Place the chillies and lemongrass in a blender.
- Shred the lime leaves and add to the blender with the coriander root and garlic.
- Grate the ginger, then add to the blender with the shrimp paste.
- Blitz until smooth, adding a couple of tablespoons of water if required.
- Excess paste can be stored in the refrigerator.