Recipe by labouchet
This is light and quickly prepared, but has a complex flavor. It complements spicier or heavier Asian dishes (particularly coconut based rices or curries - I serve it with a spicy coconut rice pilaf). I've included substitutions to the traditional Thai ingredients, in case you haven't got them handy.
- 3 small shallots or 1 small onion, peeled and coarse chopped
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 bunch fresh coriander, with roots, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons nam pla fish sauce or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste (soaked at least 10 minutes in 2 tbs white or cider vinegar or lime juice) or 1 1⁄2 tablespoons dark raisins (soaked at least 10 minutes in 2 tbs white or cider vinegar or lime juice)
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 2 small fresh chili peppers, stemmed or 1 tablespoon fresh chili paste or 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce or 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 3 cups good quality chicken broth or 3 cups vegetable broth
- salt or soy sauce, to taste, if needed
- 1 -1 1⁄2 lb thick fish fillet, divided in 3 to 6 serving-size pieces (snapper, cod, halibut, bass, haddock, or salmon)
- 2 scallions
- 3 tablespoons fresh minced basil
- 1⁄4 cup fresh coriander leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh green chilies (optional) or 1 teaspoon red chile (optional)
- 1 teaspoon very thin sliced or slivered fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon pickled ginger
Directions See How It's Made
- Put first 7 ingredients in blender and process to a puree (use some of the broth if necessary).
- Add this puree to the rest of the broth in a wide heavy based pan (you will be poaching fish in this pan), bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- Taste now for seasoning, adding salt/soy if necessary.
- Optional Extra Step: Sear fish pieces in a separate very hot saute pan in some butter or oil--no more than 30 seconds each side (This adds color and flavor, but isn't strictly necessary).
- Add fish pieces to simmering (it should be bubbling when you add fish) liquid and poach on slightly lowered heat, turning once, about 5 to 8 minutes total (depends on type and thickness of fish and if you have seared it).
- Do not overcook!
- Remove fish and serve in a platter, with sauce poured over the fish.
- Sprinkle with garnishes.