Recipe: Penang Curry
3 tbsp sunflower oil
8 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
2 cans coconut cream
4 tbsp Thai yellow or red curry paste
400g can coconut milk
2 lemongrass stalks
8 fresh kaffir lime leaves, rinsed
1-2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
150g pea aubergines, washed well
1 large red pepper and 1 large yellow pepper, seeds removed, cut into 3cm chunks
1kg skinless mixed fresh white fish fillets
200g mangetout, trimmed and rinsed
A handful of coriander leaves
A handful Thai basil (or normal basil), roughly torn
1 Place a large non-stick wok or wide frying pan or over a medium-high heat.
2 Add the oil and stir-fry the sliced shallots for 5 to 8 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.
3 Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
4 Return the pan to a low heat, add the coconut cream and the curry paste and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
5 Pour over the coconut milk and stir in 100ml water. Bring to a gentle simmer.
6 Place the lemongrass on a board and cut in half.
7 Bash with a rolling pin to bruise and flatten the stalks – this action allows their flavour to infuse easily
into your curry.
8 Add the lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, oruntil the sugar dissolves, stirring continuously.
9 Add the pea aubergines and simmer gently for eight minutes, stirring occasionally until almost tender.
10 Stir in the peppers and cook for five minutes more, stirring regularly. (The coconut curry sauce needs to be bubbling gently but constantly to cook the vegetables).
11 When the aubergines are tender, taste the curry sauce and add more Thai fish sauce if necessary. It should be a good balance of hot, salty, sour and sweet.
12 Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.
13 Cut the fish pieces into 3cm chunks and season with ground black pepper.
14 Stir the fish and mangetout into the curry and cook for a further five minutes.
15 Turn the fish in the sauce every now and then at the beginning of the cooking time, but stop as soon as you see it beginning to flake.
16 The fish should look opaque rather than translucent when cooked and the curry should be thick and creamy. (Be careful to watch that the liquid doesn’t reduce too much, as it will burn.) Add a little water if necessary.
17 Scatter the crisp shallots, coriander leaves and roughly torn Thai basil on the curry and serve.