Would you like to know what are the most popular dishes in Koh Samui ? Not the ones you'll find on the menu of a fancy restaurant but the dishes Thai people like to prepare and eat at home ?
The spicy fish curry with rice noodles is one of those. It belongs to the food tradition of Southern Thailand and is highly appreciated. Easy to prepare, it is a whole meal in itself.
A fish around 500 g or 400 fish fillets
500 ml vegetable stock
200 ml coconut milk
1 lemongrass stalk, sliced
1 kaffir lime leaf, sliced
4 shallots, sliced
Curry paste :
5 dry spur chilies, deseeded, stems removed
1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
5 fingers fingerroot, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
200 ml coconut cream
100 ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 kaffir lime leaf, stem removed
300 g rice noodles, cooked
To garnish : bean sprouts, snake beans, lime basil, pickled mustard leaves
Prepare the fish :
Clean and cut the fish in medium size pieces. Bring the stock and coconut milk to a boil. Add lemongrass, kaffir leaf and shallots. Boil the fish for 5-10 minutes, until fully cooked. Then remove from stock and leave to cool.
Take off skin and bones and crumble the flesh with your fingers. Set aside.
Prepare curry paste :
Using a mortar and pestle, pound first red chilies then add, little by little, lemongrass, fingerroot, shallots and garlic. Pound in a smooth paste (5-10 minutes). Then add shrimp paste and pound for another minute.
Add the fish flesh and pound until fish and curry paste are well combined.
Prepare the sauce :
Using a saucepan, stir coconut cream and fish/curry mixture (on medium heat). Mix well. Then add vegetable stock, kaffir leaf and seasoning (fish sauce and sugar). On low heat, simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste to adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with rice noodles, raw and steamed vegetables, fresh herbs.