Monkfish curry with lemongrass and lime leaf

2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 shallots (preferably Thai) peeled, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed to a paste with a little salt
40g/1½oz ginger, peeled, finely grated
4 lemongrass stalks, tender part only, finely chopped
6 lime leaves, shredded
2-3 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped, to taste
600ml/1pt coconut milk
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
600g/1lb 5oz monkfish tails, cut into large chunks
200g/7oz tinned water chestnuts, drained
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 lime, juice only
4 tbsp Thai basil leaves (available from Asian grocers), torn, to serve

For the Thai jasmine rice
250g/9oz Thai jasmine rice
500ml/17½fl oz water
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
For the monkfish curry, heat the oil in a large wok until smoking and stir-fry the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and green chillies for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the volume of the liquid has reduced slightly.

Add the coriander, monkfish and water chestnuts and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice.

Meanwhile, for the Thai jasmine rice, place the rice and lemongrass stalk into a saucepan, cover with the water and simmer gently for 12-15 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the water and is tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes.

To serve, spoon some of the Thai jasmine rice onto each of 4 serving plates. Spoon some monkfish curry on top and sprinkle over the Thai basil leaves.
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