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Thankyou to Allan Campion who included a link to this blog in his most recent Newsletter.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Roasted Barramundi With Yellow Curry Dressing and Baby Shoot Salad

About a year ago was the first time I'd ever tried Yellow Curry, I absolutely loved it! I can't believe I hadn't tried it sooner. I think because it was called 'curry' I used to just assume that that meant 'hot.' But Yellow Curry isn't hot, it's got a slight heat to it, which is why I love it.
I'd never made Yellow Curry from scratch before, so I was excited to be trying this recipe!
Unfortunately, I left my shopping too late in the day on Saturday, so I wasn't able to find any Barramundi. Fish shops in Victoria St, Richmond had some, but I think it was actually Perch rather than Barra'. I then tried Vic Market and they'd ran out as well, so I decided to go with Swordfish instead. The fish aren't that similar in taste or in texture and the swordfish had no skin, but I thought it would go great with the Yellow Curry Dressing.
First you start off making your coconut milk. Break open your 2 coconuts using the back of a cook's knife or cleaver (carefully!!) You'll get plenty of juice going everywhere, so either do this outside or over the sink or even the bath! You'll need to remove the 'meat' from the broken pieces of the coconut.

The best implement I've found for this is a long, flat headed screw driver, which you can wedge under the 'meat' and prise it out. (Ezard suggests here to toast the coconut flesh on the stove flame. I passed this step, simply because it takes quite a while. Once the meat is out, chop it into smaller pieces and put it into your blender with a small amount of hot water. You can then blend it all up. You might like to make this a little easier to blend by doing it in smaller batches. You'll then have a big pile of juicy grated coconut. What you need to do now is grab a couple of handfuls and put it in some muslin or a tea-towel and wring the grated flesh into a bowl or jug. There you go, there's your coconut milk!
If you leave it to stand for a while, you'll find that the coconut milk and coconut cream will separate. These can have different uses, but you can mix them back together and use them as you would coconut milk. I got about a litre from 2 coconuts.

Next you need to make the Curry paste. A lot of ingredients go into this including chilli, garlic, ginger, fresh tumeric, shallots (ten of them!), kaffir lime leaves, candle nuts (available from Asian stores) and galangal. I started off bashing this lot up in the mortar and pestle, but once I added the shallots, it was too much for my mortar and pestle - even though it's the biggest I could find! So, I moved it all across to the food processor and whizzed it up, which is the curry paste you see below.

You need to fry this paste off in a wok for about 10 mins until it becomes fragrant, making sure you don't burn it. Then you add your coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn off, until it's cool. Once cool, you need to strain the mix, to remove the chunky paste pieces. You'll be left with a smooth coconut dressing, infused with yellow curry goodness!

Cook your Chinese Broccoli by chopping up the stalks and leaves, keeping them separate. Blanch the stalks and refresh in cold running water. Then you stir fry the lot in some peanut oil, this will go under your fish and on top of your rice.

Your salad to garnish basically consists of Asian Cress, Garlic Shoots and Coriander tossed together.
Cook your fish by frying on the skin side and then bake in the oven until cooked through (this is assuming you have fish with skin on it.) You'll also need some steamed jasmine rice.

You're now ready to plate up your dish and enjoy this delicious yellow curry and crunchy salad. This wasn't too hard to put together at all. You will need to go to an Asian store though to find all the ingredients as I don't think safeway or coles sells fresh tumeric (this stuff stains your hands, so you might like to wear gloves if you get a bit sensitive about these things.) Obviously I used a different fish, so the choice of fish is up to you. This was one of the cheaper Ezard dishes I've made so far, I guess the price really depends on the type of fish you buy.

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