Vietnamese red snapper curry

 

6 red snapper or sea bass fillets, with skin
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Half a teaspoon finely chopped red chilli

For the sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 large red chillies, chopped
2 bird's eye chillies, chopped (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
Half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Half a teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons fish sauce
250ml fish stock
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
2 star anise
400ml coconut milk
300g snake beans or green beans, cut into 5cm pieces
1 teaspoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 leaves of Thai basil, shredded
A few coriander sprigs, to garnish
Lime wedges, to serve

Make a few deep slashes in the fish, then place in a dish and add the fish sauce, turmeric and red chilli. Turn to coat, then keep aside until required.

For the sauce, heat the oil in a wok and sauté the onions, spring onions, chillies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and ground spices for 2–3 minutes, stirring well. Add the fish sauce, fish stock, kaffir lime leaves and star anise. Bring to the boil, then simmer for a couple of minutes to cook the spices. Add the coconut milk and beans, then simmer for 5 minutes, until the beans are tender.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium–high heat until hot, then add the olive oil. Place the fillets (skin-side down) in the pan and sear for 2 minutes, or until the skin is crisp, then flip over and fry on the other side for about a minute, or until cooked through.

To serve, add the palm sugar, lime juice and basil to the sauce and bring back to a simmer. Serve the sauce in serving bowls, topped with the fish and garnished with coriander sprigs. Serve with lime wedges accompanied by rice.

Taken from 'Atul's Curries of the World' by Atul Kochhar' (Absolute Press, £20). Absolute Press is an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing.

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