Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thai Fish With Ginger-Coconut Milk Broth

Thai fish with ginger coconut milk broth

This is a rustic, imperfect looking dish that is fast, easy, healthy and packed with the kind of flavor that only the best Thai recipes deliver. 

It's the first meal of the week and it comes with great inspiration, gleaned from a 4 day break from my kitchen. During this time I explored local restaurants 24/7 with Mr. SSS and my visiting in-laws, continually being delighted by the plethora of simple yet inventive dishes talented LA chefs are serving up. 

This dish is in the spirit of one memorable dinner Mr. SSS and I sampled - seafood ensconced in an aromatic coconut milk broth. For this recipe I chose salmon, one of the most nutritious seafood selections and one that were are trying to consumer 1 - 2 days per week.  And then there is the broth...a creamy, citrusy, Thai broth...a mish-mash of lime juice, lime zest, garlic, chilies, cilantro, sesame oil, soy sauce, coconut milk, ginger and fish sauce. The broth is prepared my favorite way - by throwing all the ingredients in a food processor and hitting the "on" button. I also prepared the fish my favorite way, en papillote {in parchment paper}, a fool proof method that nets tender, moist "steamed" fish. 

The best way to serve this is right in the parchment paper with brown rice added table side. The rice ensures that you sponge up 100% of the lovely broth.

Thai Fish With Ginger-Coconut Milk Broth

4 firm white fish fillets, 6 oz each {sea bass, mahi mahi or halibut; or substitute salmon}
a little olive oil
2 red chili peppers, roughly chopped 
2 sticks lemon grass, out leaves discarded, center stalks roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 handfuls fresh cilantro
juice and zest of 2 limes
1 can coconut milk
2 T sesame oil
a drizzle of fish sauce
1 T soy sauce
2 heaped T finely sliced ginger

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the broth, place all ingredients except the fish in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

Tear off 4 large sheets of parchment paper. In the center of each sheet, spoon approximately 2 T of broth. Top each sheet with a fish fillet. Spoon remaining broth on top of fish, dividing evenly among the four. Roll the sides and ends of the parchment paper toward the center to secure {or you can secure with mini-staples}. Place on an oven-proof tray and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

To serve, place each parchment pack on a plate and gently open up, being careful of the steam and discarding any loose staples. Serve with a side of brown rice.
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Source: Adapted from Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef 2

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