Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Spicy Thai Curried Fried Catfish

This catfish dish influenced from Thai cuisine is filled with umami flavors.  The catfish is first lightly dredged in cornstarch then fried to a golden brown.  The fish is then simmered in a curry, cumin broth flavored with soy sauce, onions, ginger, Thai peppers, Kaffir lime leaves, green onions, basil, agave and cilantro.

It is one my favorite ways to have catfish. Serve it over rice to soak up the flavors.

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Special Tools: Large Deep Skillet or Wok
Special Ingredients: Kaffir Lime Leaves - can be found in select Asian Markets and specialty stores. Recommend using search for Kaffir Lime Leaves to find stores in your area.


1/2 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1.5 lb. Catfish steaks (about an 6 steaks an inch thick)
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Small Onion chopped
1 Inch Ginger sliced
1 Teaspoon Red Curry Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Green Onions julienned
3 Kaffir Lime Leaves
3 Thai Peppers chopped
2 Tablespoons Agave
6 Basil Leaves.
1/4 Cup Cilantro chopped

In large shallow bowl, stir the corn starch, salt and pepper until well combined.  Pat dry the fish steaks with a paper towel. Lightly dredge the fish steaks in the cornstarch mixture and let sit on a plate for five minutes. (keep 2 tablespoons of the remaining corn starch mixture for the sauce).

Using a large deep skillet or wok, place the oil over high heat until it simmers. Pan fry the fish steaks in the oil to a golden brown on all sides (about 30 seconds on each side).  Set the fish steaks aside on a plate lined with paper towel.

Add the onions to the skillet or wok and stir fry until soft and translucent (about 4 minutes). Add the sliced ginger and stir fry for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the curry powder, cumin and 2 tablespoons of the remaining corn starch (from dredging) to the pan and stir fry the ingredients until well combined and fragrant (about 1 minute).  Slowly pour in the chicken broth into the skillet or wok while whisking the ingredients with a fork to prevent the corn starch from forming lumps.  Stir in the soy sauce, green onions, kaffir lime leaves, Thai peppers, agave and basil. Give the ingredients a good stir. Return the fish steaks to the skillet or wok and bring the ingredients to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low simmer and let cook for an additional 15 minutes flipping the fish steaks over half-way through.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with a side of jasmine or short grain rice.

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