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BN Cuisine with Chef Fregz: Thai Fish Curry Done in 60 Seconds

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Salut my BN Cusine Fam!

Let me start with a huge thanks to Uzo for that simple but stunning post on coconut milk, which is one of my favourite ingredients in the world to cook with. Her post served as inspiration for today.

The title of today’s post is in honour Angelia Jolie. I mean, I have to celebrate my home girl who finally got hitched. It was really beautiful see her and Brad finally tying the knot… it was really great serving the puff puff at the reception. *slides away*

Between myself and my aunty Rosalind I’m not sure who is more bossed about Thai food. It’s an absolute favourite. But you see, even me a whole Chef sometimes we need to “cheat” sometimes. Not every time make from scratch, sometimes speed up the process. In this light, the Thai curry paste is my secret weapon. I discovered it in Paris when a chef friend made the most delicious coconut chicken soup with lemongrass and rice. When I asked him how he made it, I was already opening a note page on my BlackBerry to take a lecture of how he made such a time consuming curry paste and the possibility of him squeezing his own coconut cream and milk.
Only for him to pull the below out…

Yes, a curry paste. I almost want to judge him for not making his own paste but hey… didn’t I clear my plate? No bi me dey ask fo recipe? So I decided to not play God!

Since the day I found it retailed in Nigeria, I haven’t looked back. Although when I use it, I tend use it as a marinade or recreating that soup I had in Paris. I always have a tub at least in my fridge.

I taught/showed my students at the recently concluded Masterclass with Chef Fregz at Kogsy how to fillet a fish and make a an easy curry with a pilaf rice. That way, dinner is fast and easy; and you can entertain your guests make it look like you made such an effort to make that curry paste from scratch. You and your kitchen will keep your secrets.

However, you would need some coconut milk, some coriander leaves, vegetables like baby corn, bok choi, green peppers, pineapple (yes Thai people do that sometimes) and whatever you like really.

I kept mine as simple as possible – Fish Curry Sauce some fresh chillies, squeeze of lime at the end and my pilaf lemongrass rice.

I know you’re thinking “but chef biko why don’t you show us the way to make ours from scratch?” Errrr my response… “this brand is the good type that truly authentic. I mean the packaging is written in thai language it doesn’t get more real than that!”
So for that fast dinner, easy lunch or causal dinner party this is a quick almost hassle free idea plus you can use chicken for this as well. Beef not so much because it would rake sometime to cook except you’re using the fillet of beef. But I’d rather chicken, fish or seafood.

Here’s what you need to make your curry (Serves 4)

4-8 fish fillet portions
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon red curry paste (it’s available in green and yellow but red take the win for me)
300-400ml coconut milk or 1 can (all coconut milk usually come in 400ml cans)
Half a lime
1 large green pepper (ground or finely chopped) (optional)
1 large red bell pepper (ground) (optional)
A handful of coriander leaves
Fresh thai or birds eye chillies for garnish (green and/or red)

For The Rice
1 1/2 cups long grain rice or basmati rice or fragrant thai rice
2 cloves of garlic smashed open
1 stalk lemongrass bashed open
A pinch of salt to taste (if you use the fragrant rice you may not even need to salt)
1 medium onion chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Water to cover

How To
Massage the curry paste into the fish or whatever protein you’re using, along with the sesame oil. Leave to marinade.

Proceed to make the rice.

In a saucepan or pot, place the oil and when hot add the onions, garlic and lemon grass and stir fry till lightly fragrant and add the rice. Stir fry the rice till it’s evenly coated/glistening in the oil.
At this stage add the water making sure it’s about 2 inches above the rice. Cook on a low heat till the water dries out and the rice is just done and fluffy but not to soft. This should take about 15 minutes

Please note:  if you are cooking the thai fragrant rice or basmati rice it would require less cooking time and probably a little less liquid, because the idea with this rice recipe is to allow the steam do the cooking once the water has dried out.

While the rice is cooking, in a hot frying pan, add about a 100ml of the coconut milk and the tablespoon of the curry paste (be prepared to sneeze and cough a little). Fry the paste till the coconut milk almost starts to dry out, and the paste is bubbly. Be careful not to burn the paste.

Add the remaining milk and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes till it thickens. If your adding any vegetables you can add at this point. allow them to cook before adding your fish.

For the fish, in some oil sear the fish on both sides but don’t allow cook all the way through as you want it to finish off in the curry.

Add the coriander and chillies at the very end and vegetables like green pepper for it to retain its freshness for as long as possible.

Serve hot, and enjoy with coldest drink you can find.

If you don’t like spicy just add a bit more coconut milk and less of the paste and a pinch of brown sugar or palm sugar to cool it down and also omit the extra chillies.

Give it a try this weekend… and have a good one while at it!

Ciao!

Chef Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste. He also caters special events and private dinners. To find out more visit www.cheffregz.com. Chef Fregz provides premium private catering services. For bookings and orders email [email protected] – @Chef_Fregz on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out the Chef Fregz Page on Facebook as well.

19 Comments

  1. Seyi

    August 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    That looks so tasty!

    more-than-one-love.blogspot.co.uk

  2. Chicanita

    August 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Looks yummy
    Please chef Fregz be giving us pictures of each step, it’ll really help. Thanks 🙂
    and please where in Lagos can we get the special red curry paste

    • Trina

      August 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      I agree jare. Chef I love your work but step by step photos would have been ace; to be sure we’re on the right track.

      This kind of abracadabra Indian pesi pesi America picture… I dunno oh.

  3. TA

    August 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Great post. Yes o,that was how Angelina did not respect herself and kept asking for more puff puff and spring rolls…hehehe 🙂

    Chai! What can I say to get you to invite me to a’ come-chop’? …

  4. SIs Nnene

    August 29, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I’m definitely trying this

  5. Henry

    August 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Nice… but did you mean 60 minutes?

  6. Uzo

    August 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Chef Fregz oh. 🙂 One of my foodspirations in Nigeria. The only curry pastes I see displayed prominently in stores is the brand ‘Real Thai”. Where can I get this brand with everything written in Thai? LMAO. Let me make a seafood curry this weekend following your recipe – pineapple and all. And yaay to convenience foods. I have been following Marion’s Thailand on Food Network and she uses ready made curry paste all the time bought from the local market sooooooo 🙂

  7. Berry Dakara

    August 29, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Err, where did you say you bought the paste from? We need store names!!!

    berrydakara.blogspot.com

  8. Janet

    August 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Wow, looks yummy indeed! Really love to try it dis weekend..

  9. justbroody

    August 29, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Dear fregz, as a cordon bleu chef, I challenge you to make this same curry using curry paste that you have made yourself and with coconut milk extracted in your kitchen(i.e. not from a tin), then let us know if there is any difference in taste. You will be pleasantly surprised.

  10. beak em hawks

    August 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Goodies carries it.

  11. Jackie Onassis

    August 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Just had a prawn curry!! Yesterday.. While on mission in Madagascar… So yummy.. But, I will always stick with my naija chef.. So much inspiration on food. Thanks again.

  12. Eni

    August 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

    where can i buy the curry paste and coriander leaves please

  13. Changing Faces

    August 30, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Supermarkets like Goodies and Shoprite carry curry paste. I love curries. Chef Fregz, biko your recipe doesn’t tell us when to add the ground red bell pepper. Please anyone can point it out in case my glasses missed that part. Thanks

  14. iba

    August 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    For the love of Christ i understand no one want to make it seem they are advertising a shop but what is the essence when most people dont know where to get the curry paste. lolz
    And where do i get fresh corriander from? I dont stay in Lagos, PH or Abuja.
    I guess i’d use scent leaf then, its smells really nice too. lolz

  15. Ivy

    September 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Am i in love or what? With the chef that is *bigsmile*

  16. amaa

    September 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    using the coconut powder is a lot better also try putting in a little whipping cream if you don’t like it too spicy and thank me later

  17. Nwando

    September 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I just love to gaze upon food pictures… yea I miss the step by step pictures too.

  18. claras corner

    September 3, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Lovely recipe, step by step pictures go a long way I guess. Fresh coriander leaves are sold in Shoprite and Spar/Park n Shop VI, Lekki. I have seen red and green curry pastes in Vcare supermarket Opebi rd, Spar / Park n Shop and Delis on Akin Adesola rd VI…I love food shopping, what can I say 🙂

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