Sour or­ange fish curry

SERVES 8 // PREP TIME 30 MINS // COOK 20 MINS

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

“I think gaeng som is my mum’s favourite curry,” says An­der­son. “I be­came aware of just how much she loves it when, dur­ing a hol­i­day to Thai­land af­ter not hav­ing been back for many years, she or­dered this dish at every meal. In Thai­land they usu­ally serve cur­ries and soups in a ‘mor fai’ – a sort of alu­minium hot­pot lit with a gas burner or can­dle. It keeps the curry hot-hot-hot and mouths burn­ing-burn­ing-burn­ing, but that’s the way Thais like it. It took me a long time to ap­pre­ci­ate this as a kid – most of the time it was too hot and spicy for me to en­joy. But now, as an adult, the mer­its of eat­ing spicy food at hot tem­per­a­tures in hu­mid con­di­tions is to­tally some­thing I’m into. Detox! This curry paste makes three times what you need, but it will keep for a month in the freezer.” 100 gm skin­less firm white fish, such as snap­per, co­bia or king­fish

1.125 litres (4½ cups) chicken

stock

250 gm green pa­paya, peeled, quar­tered length­ways and cut into large pieces

125 ml (½ cup) tamarind

con­cen­trate

85 gm (¼ cup) soft palm sugar 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce 16 green king prawns, peeled, de­veined, heads and tails in­tact 2 tbsp lime juice (or to taste) Steamed rice, to serve CURRY PASTE 30 gm fresh red turmeric, coarsely chopped 5-7 dried long red chill­ies, soaked in cold wa­ter

(10 min­utes) and coarsely chopped 1½ tbsp dried bird­s­eye chill­ies, coarsely chopped 50 gm red shal­lots, coarsely chopped 50 gm wild ginger (see note), coarsely chopped 1¼ tbsp shrimp paste

1 For curry paste, add in­gre­di­ents to a mor­tar in or­der of tough­ness start­ing with turmeric, then chill­ies, shal­lots, ginger and shrimp paste, pound­ing un­til a paste. Keep ⅓ cup curry paste in mor­tar; the re­main­der can be frozen.

2 Poach fish in a saucepan of sim­mer­ing wa­ter over medium heat un­til firm (5 min­utes), then cool. Add fish to re­served curry paste and pound with a mor­tar and pes­tle to a fine paste.

3 Add stock and fish paste to a small saucepan and bring the boil, stir­ring, over medium heat. Add pa­paya, tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and 2 tsp salt, and sim­mer un­til pa­paya be­gins to turn translu­cent (12-15 min­utes). Add prawns and sim­mer un­til opaque (3 min­utes). Add lime juice, sea­son­ing to taste, and serve with steamed rice.

Note Wild ginger, also known as krachai or Chi­nese keys, is avail­able from Thai gro­cers. Wine sug­ges­tion Off-dry, tangy chenin blanc.

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