Baking is a great cooking method for fish. It slowly cooks the meat to a soft texture that will melt in your mouth. This Thai recipe can be made with almost any white fish fillet such as Tilapia or Snapper. I chose to use the hearty monkfish since its meat is thick and tough, but baking it for half an hour can really soften its texture.
The flavors combined in this dish include coconut milk, red curry, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and some sugar to balance the flavors. The ingredients of fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves can be a slight challenge to find. Fish sauce is usually available at Asian food stores and has also become readily available at most groceries. Kaffir Lime Leaves may be difficult to find even at Asian markets, but I recommend doing a Yelp search in your area for "Kaffir" to see if there is a local store that carries it near you.
Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes 30 minute marination)
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste
3 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Fine Sugar
5 Kaffir Leaves Torn
1lb. Monkfish Fillet cut into 4 pieces
1 Cup Carrot peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 Cup of Leek cut into matchsticks
2 Scallions chopped
2 Red Thai Chilies chopped
1/4 Cup Cilantro chopped
In a large bowl stir in the coconut milk, red curry paste, fish sauce, sugar and torn kaffir leaves until well combined. Add the monkfish to the bowl to coat and marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare aluminum foil to be cut into four pieces at about 9 inch squares. Place an equal amount of the carrots and leeks in the center of each aluminum foil. Place each of the 4 cuts of monkfish on top of the carrots and leeks with a little bit of the coconut marinade. Wrap up each the coconut monkfish/vegetable mixture into 4 aluminum packets making sure each is well sealed with room for air in the center. Place the packets onto a baking sheet and into the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes or until the monkfish is fully cooked.
To serve, transfer the fish, vegetables and coconut sauce to plates and garnish with the chopped chilies, scallions and cilantro.