You know I just couldn't possibly say enough good things about this recipe and if I tried you wouldn't believe me. I don't even really like fish but one bite of this stuff made me moan.
Tender, moist, not fishy at all (the most important part for me) and with a meld of amazing flavors that will have you moaning too.
As it happens Andrew went halibut fishing the week before last so our fridge was overflowing with fish and this was a fun way to fix it that everyone loved. The funny thing too is this recipe sounds pretty high-falutin' but it's really, really easy--the hardest part is coming up with a couple of the odd ingredients but any Asian grocery store should carry what you need. Then it's just a matter of throwing the sauce ingredients into the pot, boiling them, wrapping up the fish with some of the sauce then baking it--it's the original Thai tinfoil dinner!
12 green onions
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 c fresh cilantro (packed)
4 kaffir lime leaves (in the produce section wrapped separately)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon paprika
1 13 1/2 ounce can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
6 halibut fillets
lemon juice from one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
6 sections of banana leaves big enough to wrap your fillets (you'll find them in the frozen food section of the Asian market)
First you have to make up a green pesto/paste from the green onions, garlic, cilatro and lime leaves (first removing the woody spine on each leaf). Pulse it in a food processor until it's a paste then saute the paste in a medium sized saucepan with the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat for several minutes until you can smell those lime leaves and you're in heaven. Add the red curry paste and the paprika then cook another couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, open the can of coconut milk and spoon off the thick gloopy stuff on the top of the can. Pour the liquid into the pan with the pesto/curry mixture and add the sugar and fish sauce, stirring until it begins to boil. Turn down the heat a bit and simmer it until it's thickened up a bit.
Rinse your fish fillets and pat them dry, rip off six pieces of aluminum foil and set a banana leaf section in the middle of it. Set a fish fillet on the leaf and season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with lemon juice liberally. Spoon enough of the sauce to cover the fish then fold the long edges of the leaves up over the fish followed by the short ends. Fold the aluminum foil up over the banana leaf into a little tinfoil packet and let the fish set to marinate for 30 minutes or so (not longer than four hours though).
Preheat your oven to 450 then bake the fish for 14 minutes (thicker pieces may take longer). Unwrap the package and serve the fish over hot steamed rice with more sauce spooned over the top. It's just wonderful!
Congratulations to Calico Bebop for winning the pair of Protect-a-Bed pillow covers--there's still plenty of time to get in on the prizes over at Metropolitan Mama's . . .
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