While thinking about this recipe, I got to consider my storyline. It should be an easy one to write. Halibut is my favourite fish and right now, I am having a great time with many of the Thai flavours that bring out the very best in fish. With very little thinking done, I hit upon “curry favour”. I could easily bend that around to “favourite curry” and have a play on words. This would be easy.
Easy that is until I did my research. The origins of currying favour is in fact French and has nothing to do with cookery. It involves wiping down a horse. This really put me off and I decided to just get straight into the recipe. Straight is a relative word as you will have guessed by now. Here’s my Thai Style Halibut Curry.
Ingredients in the picture
- 600gms fresh halibut
- 200gms spinach
- 1 handful coriander
- 3 stalks lemongrass
- 2 red chilis
- 2 limes
- 3 cloves garlic
- A few curry leaves
- 5cm (2″) of galangal
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Ingredients not in the picture
- 400ml of coconut milk
- 3 teaspoons fish sauce
I was in a bit of a hurry getting my photography together. As a result, I neglected to add a couple of ingredients. This probably is a bigger issue in my head than in yours but, I thought I should try to curry a bit of favour by mentioning it.
Getting on with the recipe, the first thing to do is to make a paste out of the galangal, chilli, garlic, lemongrass, salt pepper, and fish sauce. To do this, peel and chop the lemongrass, garlic and galangal, chop the chillis. Put the lot into a blender or mortar along with the fish sauce and coriander. Fry off the cumin seeds in a dry pan. Add these to the blender/mortar (I was in a hurry, so the blender won out).
Blitz the lot of it to a paste. Fry it off in a high sided wide saucepan.
When the paste has developed a nice consistency and flavours are really rising, add the turmeric and paprika. Combine this into the paste and then add the coconut milk and the curry leafs.
Let this mixture cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes. Then add the spinach leafs. This will take a bit of attention as they have a lot of volume and need to wilt. Add them a few at a time.
Keep the heat on low. Cube the halibut and add it to the curry sauce. The fish is delicate and will poach nicely in the sauce.
Place a lid on the pan and let the fish gently poach for about ten minutes. Slice up some more coriander and sprinkle it over the dish. When the fish has turned opaque rather than translucent, it’s cooked. See the difference between the two pictures above and below.
Serve it with white rice or potatoes, if you wish. This is a delightful curry that I hope will find favour. I can’t do any more to flavour the curry and curry your favour.