One of my “aims” for 2017 is to cook more fish. And eat more fish! I call them aims as I don’t like the word resolution. Monkfish is one of my favourite fishes to eat and prepare, and is perfect in this gorgeous fish curry by Rick Stein. I’ve tweeked it slightly, but it’s a nice recipe to use as it’s quick to prepare with readily available ingredients.
Rory preparing the monkfish in demo during my time in Ballymaloe.
Monkfish is one of the ugliest fishes in the seas. And has an enormous extendable stomach that enables the fish to eat prey almost to it’s own size. It also has what looks for all the world like a fishing rod with a teeny fish on the end of it. It dangles this over it’s mouth and simply uses it to fish for fish. Of course as luck would have it- there was NO monkfish to be found ANYWHERE in Waterford. So I substituted it with some lovely fresh cod. I tend not to use cod as it’s been fished to death, excuse the pun. But any port in a storm. Same quantities apply.
A little extra note on Kaffir Lime- The leaves of this citrus plant are widely used in Thai cooking for the perfume that they give the dish. But a zest of lime is an adequate replacement.
3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
75g green curry paste
400ml can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 teaspoons of muscovado sugar
4 kaffir lime leaves or 1 pared strip of lime zest, cut into very fine shreds
1 lime, juice only
100g new potatoes, cut in half if large
50g aubergines, quartered
12 raw, unshelled, headless prawns
350g monkfish fillet, cut across into slices 1cm thick
2 tablespoons fresh basil, shredded finely
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the green curry paste and fry for 5-6 minutes, until the ingredients begin to separate from the oil and it starts to smell aromatic.
Looks awful- smells great
Add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves or zest, lime juice, potatoes and the aubergines, if using. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes and aubergines are tender.
Meanwhile, shell the prawns and de-vein them if fresh. Cutting each one in half lengthways.Mind you if they are frozen, like mine were, then simply toss them in on top and let the diner beware. I would advise the first option for a non family dining event!
Add the prawns to the pan with the monkfish. Simmer for another 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded basil and serve with some rice of your choice. Divine.