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Red Curry Coconut Fish

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Bring on the flavors of Southeast Asia with this Red Curry Coconut Fish recipe. It’s a perfect fusion of succulent fish, aromatic spices and a vibrant coconut curry sauce. This delightful Thai Coconut Curry Grouper can be prepared in one pan, making it a convenient and flavorful weeknight dinner option. If grouper isn’t available, feel free to substitute with other white fish, salmon, shrimp, chicken or even tofu.

A skillet filled with Red Curry Coconut Fish. Three piece of fish and bok choy covered in a coconut curry sauce with fresh lime slices and fresh cilantro as garnish.

WHY MAKE THIS FISH CURRY RECIPE

  • Exotic Flavors: This recipe brings the exotic flavors of Thai cuisine to your kitchen, allowing you to enjoy a restaurant-quality dish at home.
  • Balanced Tastes: The easy-to-make fish dish combines the heat of red curry paste with the creaminess of coconut milk, creating a wonderful balance of spicy, savory, and sweet flavors.
  • Versatility: You can make this curry fish recipe with grouper or easily substitute it with other seafood or proteins like shrimp, other white fish, salmon, chicken or even tofu.
  • One-Pan Convenience: It’s a one-pan dish, which means less cleanup!
  • Healthy Ingredients: With ingredients like fresh ginger, garlic, and bok choy, this recipe incorporates nutritious elements that are not only delicious but also good for you.
  • Quick and Easy: Despite its complex flavors, this red curry recipe is surprisingly quick and easy to prepare. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight when you are short on time, but want a delicious and healthy meal.
  • Customizable: You can adjust the level of spiciness and tailor the ingredients to suit your taste preferences, ensuring a meal that suits your palate.

WHAT IS A RED CURRY COCONUT SAUCE AND WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE

A red curry coconut sauce is a flavorful and aromatic sauce commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Thai and Malaysian dishes. It’s known for its vibrant red color, which is achieved primarily through the use of red curry paste as one of its key ingredients.

The taste profile of a red curry coconut sauce develops using these ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • Red Curry Paste: The primary ingredient responsible for the red color is the Thai red curry paste. It’s made from red chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, galangal or ginger, and various spices. The type and amount of chili peppers used can vary, affecting the sauce’s spiciness.
  • Coconut Milk: Coconut milk (full-fat) is the base of this curry sauce. It provides a rich and creamy texture while also imparting a subtle sweetness to balance the heat from the chili peppers.
  • Aromatics: Aromatics like lemongrass, ginger, and garlic are often used to infuse the sauce with a fresh and fragrant quality.
  • Fish Sauce: Fish sauce adds a salty and savory element, enhancing the overall flavor. Soy sauce is a great substitute.
  • Herbs: Cilantro is used in this Red Curry Fish recipe. However, you may find kaffir lime leaves or Thai basil more to your liking, and great substitutes.
  • Sweetness: Granulated sugar can be replaced with coconut sugar or turbinado sugar.

TIPS ON MAKING RED CURRY COCONUT FISH

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making this fish curry recipe:

  • Sear the Fish Well: When searing the fish, make sure the pan is hot and the fillets have a chance to develop a nice golden crust. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • Use Low-Sodium Fish Sauce: If you’re concerned about the saltiness, opt for a low-sodium fish sauce. You can always add more to taste later.
  • Adjust the Spice: Red curry paste varies in spiciness. Start with a smaller amount if you’re sensitive to heat, then add more if you prefer it spicier.
  • Simmer Gently: When you add the coconut milk, simmer gently over low to medium heat. Avoid boiling, as it can cause the coconut milk to separate.
  • Taste and Adjust: Always taste your sauce before serving. Adjust the seasoning with additional fish sauce, sugar, or lime juice as needed to achieve the desired balance of flavors. I highly recommend add the other half of the lime juice at the end.
  • Remove Lemongrass Stems: Ensure you remove the woody lemongrass stems before serving. They’re used for flavor but aren’t pleasant to eat.
  • Don’t Overcook the Fish: When adding the fish back to the sauce, allow to warm through but avoid overcooking, as it can become tough and dry.
  • Variety of Vegetables: Feel free to experiment with different vegetables like bell peppers, snow peas, or spinach for added texture and nutrition.

HOW TO SERVE AND STORE LEFTOVER CURRY COCONUT FISH

This Coconut Curry Grouper is best served hot, accompanied by steamed rice or a grain of your choice. The aromatic flavors of the coconut curry sauce perfectly compliment the tender fish and vegetables.

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. To reheat, gently warm the dish in a pan over low heat or in the oven, being careful not to overcook the fish.

MORE TO LOVE

If you enjoy this Red Curry Coconut Grouper recipe, check out these Thai-inspired recipes:

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A skillet filled with Red Curry Coconut Fish. Three piece of fish and bok choy covered in a coconut curry sauce with fresh lime slices and fresh cilantro as garnish.

Coconut Curry Fish


Description

This delightful Red Curry Coconut Grouper can be prepared in one pan, making it a convenient and flavorful weeknight dinner option. If grouper isn’t available, feel free to substitute with other white fish, salmon or even shrimp.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3, 6-ounce grouper filets (see note for substitutions)
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, cut into pieces and pounded to release flavor
  • 2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, or coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce or paste
  • 14-ounces full-fat coconut milk with cream
  • 1 red Thai chili, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 3 small baby bok choy, steamed (optional, see note)
  • 4 lime slices, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat one teaspoon olive oil in a pan.
  2. Pat the fish dry.
  3. Brush the filets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on all sides.
  4. Place the filets in the pan. Allow to sear one one side to form a golden crust. Fish should be cooked about 3/4 of the way through before flipping.
  5. Flip. Continue searing the fish until it’s fully-cooked.
  6. While the fish is cooking, place the baby bok choy in dampened paper towels and place in the microwave to steam for about 4 minutes.
  7. Remove the fish from the pan and reserve on a plate. 
  8. In the same pan, add the lemongrass and grated ginger. Cook for a minute.
  9. Add in the minced garlic and sugar. Cook for another minute.
  10. Add in the Thai red curry paste, chili garlic sauce and Thai red chilis. Cook for another minute.
  11. Pour in the coconut milk and fish sauce. Mix and gently simmer for about 5 minutes.
  12. Remove the lemongrass. Taste for salt.
  13. Add in the juice of one-half lime and two tablespoons of fresh cilantro. Stir to incorporate.
  14. Nestle the reserved fish into the sauce, along with the steamed bok choy.
  15. Spoon the red curry coconut sauce onto the fish and steamed vegetables.
  16. Just allow the fish to warm through. Try not to overcook.
  17. Taste. Add more lime juice, if needed.
  18. Garnish with a touch more fresh chopped cilantro and lime slices.
  19. Served with steamed rice.
  20. ENJOY!
@charlottefashionplate

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♬ Echos in My Mind (Lofi) – Muspace Lofi

Notes

  • Substitute the grouper in this recipe with your favorite white fish, salmon, shrimp, chicken or even tofu.
  • When searing the fish, make sure the pan is hot and the filets have a chance to develop a nice golden crust.
  • For less sodium, use lower-sodium fish sauce or soy sauce.
  • Adjust the spice level to your liking.
  • Simmer the coconut milk gently to avoid separating.
  • Taste throughout for salt. Lime juice really amps up the flavor. I ended up using the entire lime.
  • Don’t forget to remove the lemongrass.
  • Try not to overcook the fish.
  • Substitute the steam bok choy with bell peppers, snow peas and/or spinach.
  • See post for additional tips and notes.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Southeast Asian, American

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GET TO KNOW ME!

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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