|Yummy Fish Curry & Gravy over Jasmine Rice|
Blogging Marathon #17
Theme: Archived Recipes Revisited & Improved
Although I enjoy most Southeast Asian cuisine ( I should have been born in that part of the world), Malaysia and Indonesia which have many similarities, are my favorite. Malaysia’s marriage of Indian, Chinese & Nyonya (native population) cuisine create uniquely blended Malaysian dishes, however each dish can easily be traced to origins of one of these three.
Some of the most popular dishes that represent these cuisines are:
Roti Canai & Curry Sauce (Indian)
Pineapple Fried Rice (Chinese)
Long Beans with Shrimp Paste (Nyonya)
Seafood & fermented products dominate their cuisine. Even in vegetarian dishes, you will usually encounter fish sauce and/or shrimp paste.
|Roti Canai from Nyonya Restaurant, NYC|
Each country has it’s own variety of spices that go into curries – this is demonstrated in how different a curry from India will taste, compared to a curry from Malaysia, Thailand or Jamaica. I used monkfish in this recipe as it is a very firm, flavorful fish. Monkfish is one of the ugliest fish out there, but looks are deceiving. It is a very flavorful fish with a natural sweetness and because of it’s poor looks many people do not buy it, making it very inexpensive – usually about $3/lb.
2 lbs. monkfish
salt, to taste
4 tablespoons grated coconut
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 bird’s eye chiles, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
|staple products in Southeast Asian cuisine|
2 teaspoons lemongrass powder
2 teaspoons galangal powder (you can also substitute fresh galangal or ginger, if either form of galangal is unavailable)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
13.5 oz. coconut milk
2 1/2 cups fish or chicken stock (sometimes I substitute clam juice)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon sugar
juice of 1 lime
salt, to taste
Cut the fish into large chunks and sprinkle with a little salt.
Dry fry the coconut in a large wok until evenly brown. Add the oil, chillies, garlic and fry for a minute.
Add fish sauce, coconut milk and stock and mix well. Add turmeric, coriander, lemongrass powder, galangal powder, sugar, lime juice and salt, to taste. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add the fish. Bring back to the boil. Lower flame to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes, until fish is cooked through.
Malaysian curries have a lot of sauce, which is perfect to pour over rice. Serve with Jasmine rice & Coconut Sambal (recipe below).
What achar is to India & Trinidad, sambal is to Malaysia & Indonesia. These spicy condiments are served with most meals and come in many different varieties.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bird’s eye chile, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons grated coconut (fresh is always better, but dessicated coconut works just as good)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
First, let’s make tomato concasse. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
On the bottom of the tomatoes, make a small X. Drop in the boiling water and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the skin starts to crack. Remove immediately and place in a large bowl of ice water, to immediately stop the cooking process.
Peel the tomatoes and remove the inner membranes with the seeds. Chop the tomatoes. Now if you ever see concasse in a recipe – you know what they mean!
This way of prepping tomatoes eliminates the part of the tomato that is a little bitter and you only get the sweetness of the fruit that it is. This is the way we are taught to always prep tomatoes in culinary school, however, I rarely, if ever, do it for my own home cooking. I’m just too darn lazy, but it does create a more balanced end result, without the acidic, sharp tones of the tomato.
Combine with all of the other ingredients and mix well.
Let rest in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
|Coconut Sambal, Malaysian Fish Curry & Jasmine Rice with Curry Gravy|
If you’d like to see the original posting of this recipe which does it no justice, see here.
If you are in NY, the best Malaysian restaurant is Nyonya. I have frequented this restaurant more times than I can count and have never been disappointed.
Don’t forget to check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#17
this recipe is off to Test with Skewer’s Muhibbah Malaysian Monday – Muhibbah Monday