Co­conut Curry with Fish and Noo­dles (Khanom Jeen Naam Yaa Plaa)

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(Khanom Jeen Naam Yaa Plaa) SERVES 6–8 Ac­tive: 1 hr. • To­tal: 1 hr. 30 min. This thin curry is of­ten served with fresh veg­eta­bles and top­pings such as pre­served cu­cum­bers, radishes, eggs, and dried fish. Khanom jeen noo­dles might be hard to find; sub­sti­tute thin dried bún, Viet­namese rice noo­dles, pre­pared ac­cord­ing to the pack­age di­rec­tions. 3 lb. white-fleshed sea fish (such as threadfin, bream, fluke, or sea bass), scaled and gut­ted 1 tsp. Thai thin soy sauce ½ tsp. fine sea salt 15–18 dried Thai chiles (¼ oz.), stemmed 2 tsp. whole black pep­per­corns 6 gar­lic cloves, peeled and sliced (¼ cup) 3 le­mon­grass stalks, green tops trimmed, tough

outer lay­ers dis­carded, thinly sliced (½ cup) 1 Tbsp. sliced fresh turmeric 1 Tbsp. Thai shrimp paste 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen shred­ded

co­conut 12 kaf­fir lime leaves 1 tsp. sugar (op­tional) ½ tsp. Thai chicken bouil­lon pow­der (op­tional) Fish sauce (op­tional) 4 cups cooked khanom jeen or bún noo­dles Pineap­ple slices, Thai egg­plants, hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced long beans, or Thai basil, for gar­nish

1 In a large pot, add the fish, soy sauce, and 3 cups wa­ter; bring to a boil, then lower the heat and sim­mer un­til the fish is cooked, 8–10 min­utes. Trans­fer the fish to a plate to cool.

2 Strain the stock and dis­card any solids. Mea­sure 2 cups liq­uid, then re­serve the rest for another use. Clean out the pot. 3 Flake the meat from the cooled fish. Re­serve 1 cup and save the rest for another use.

4 In a mor­tar and pes­tle, pound the salt and chiles to a coarse pow­der. Add the pep­per­corns and re­peat. Add the gar­lic, le­mon­grass, and turmeric, and pound and grind to a coarse paste. Pound in the shrimp paste. Set aside.

5 Make the co­conut cream and milk: In a large bowl, add the co­conut and 2 cups of wa­ter. Mix un­til to­tally sat­u­rated, then squeeze and strain the meat, re­serv­ing the liq­uid. (This is the co­conut cream.) Add the meat back to the bowl, along with 4 more cups of wa­ter. Mix un­til sat­u­rated, then strain the liq­uid into the stock pot. (This is the co­conut milk.)

6 In a blender, purée the fish, curry paste, stock, and half of the pre­pared co­conut cream, then add to the stock­pot. Bring to a sim­mer over medi­um­low heat. Add the kaf­fir lime leaves, the re­main­ing co­conut cream, and the sugar and bouil­lon pow­der if us­ing. Re­turn to a low sim­mer for 18–20 min­utes; do not boil. Taste and ad­just the sea­son­ing with fish sauce as needed.

7 To serve, top ½ cup of noo­dles in a shal­low bowl with about 1⅓ cups of the curry. Serve with the top­pings on the side.

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