Malaysian Fish Curry
Serves 4
Preparation Time: 45-60 Minutes

 

This is a favourite of mine and it seems to make a regular appearance in our kitchen because it is so easy and delicious. Like all of these recipes, the ingredient list is not set in stone; feel free to adjust and alter whatever you like to make the dish more suited to your taste and needs.
Credit for this recipe goes to a good friend of mine who is a wonderful cook; thanks Renny!
I encourage you to seek the highest quality and freshest ingredients when you are cooking. This makes the biggest difference in flavour and makes the experience extremely enjoyable and memorable. I always encourage sourcing organic/biodynamic/wild ingredients wherever possible to reduce the burden of synthetic chemicals and environmental toxins.
For this particular recipe, I highly recommend consulting your local fishmonger as to the freshest fish they have. If you can find something fresh and wild caught, all the better. This will make a huge difference to the taste of the dish and with provide you and your family a much healthier meal.

 

I particularly like this recipe because it covers a lot of bases:

-Fish is something that a lot of people find difficult to incorporate into their weekly meals and this presents a delicious and interesting way to get the benefits of food from the marine food web more often. The omega 3 content can be protected even more by skipping the frying step and instead just cooking the fish in the coconut milk on a low boil. This is advantageous because of the propensity for omega 3 fats to oxidise when heated. A low boil or even pressure cooking will reduce the oxidation of the polyunsaturated fatty acids.
-It is also a dish rich with spices that have enormous capacities to keep blood glucose low and provide a host of unique nutritional benefits.
-The inclusion of coriander (cilantro) is also preferred in meals with fish as the silica content in this herb is very high, facilitating the excretion of any heavy metals that may have accumulated in the fish (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic).
-I encourage the use of very fine chopping or using a mortar and pestle for the garlic to facilitate the formation of the molecule, ‘alicin’. This has a variety of benefits to human health but can only be activated by fine chopping or mincing prior to heat exposure. Allium vegetables such as garlic also have compounds called mercaptans that assist in the binding and excretion of mercury – something that people may fear when it comes to eating fish.
-The addition of dulse flakes in this dish is a great boost to the nutrient profile primarily due to the addition of iodine. Iodine deficiency is a huge problem as it essentially only comes from food harvested from the ocean. While fish has appreciable amounts, seaweed is an iodine powerhouse, and in the context of this dish can barely be tasted.

This recipe includes a small amount of sugar that may be omitted by those with a desire to minimally influence blood sugar levels.
This recipe is also suggested to be served on a bed of white jasmine rice; this can be switched to brown, black or red rice if you so choose.

 

Ingredients:

4 Snapper Fillets
2 Cans of Coconut Cream
1.5 tsp Turmeric
1.5 tsp Coriander Seed Powder
100g Mushrooms
1 Large Capsicum
2 Lemongrass Stalks
6 Kaffir Lime Leaves
2 tsp Coconut Sugar
1 Bunch Spring Onion
6 Cloves Garlic
1 Thumb Size Piece of Ginger
1 Lemon or Lime
Olive Oil
Salt and/or Fish Sauce
Black Pepper
Chilli Flakes
1 Bunch Coriander
Crushed Cashews
1 Tbsp Dulse Flakes (Optional)

 

Method:

  1. Season snapper fillets with salt and pepper to taste as the pan is heating up.
  2. Put enough oil (use whichever oil you like to cook with; this dish works well with coconut oil or olive oil I’ve found) to line the pan.
  3. Place the fillets of fish into the hot pan skin down.
  4. Let the fillets cook about 80% of the way before flipping them over.
  5. Once the fish is cooked, remove from pan and add in any extra oil you may need to sauté the vegetables.
  6. Add chopped spring onion (the white parts closest to the root – save the onion greens for garnish), garlic and ginger into the hot pan.
  7. Add some salt to facilitate the breaking down of the vegetables.
  8. Once the spring onion, garlic and ginger have a slight browning to them, add the turmeric, coriander powder, black pepper, dulse flakes and chilli flakes and stir thoroughly.
  9. Once the spices have been uniformly incorporated into the pan, add the chopped vegetables.
  10. Cook for 2-5 minutes on high heat, then add the 2 cans of coconut cream.
  11. Stir in the coconut cream and get it bubbling, then add the smashed lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, sugar, coriander stalks, fish sauce (to taste) and juice from half a lemon or lime.
  12. Cook for 10-20 minutes where the liquid is gently bubbling.
  13. After this, taste and add any seasoning necessary – you’re seeking a perfect balance between salt, sweet (coconut sugar), acidic (lemon juice) and spicy (chilli flakes and black pepper).
  14. Now, add the fish back into the liquid and cook for 5 minutes.
  15. Serve on a bed of jasmine rice and garnish with the green part of the spring onion, finely chopped coriander leaves and crushed cashews.