Thai food is so much better if you make your own fresh curry paste from scratch. Fresh curry paste is not just spicy hot, but also very fragrant and complex. The secret to juicy tender fish in your curry rather than dried out fish is to turn off the heat before adding the fish. The fish will then gently poach in the residual heat of the curry without overcooking.
For 2 servings
300 grams (.66 lb) monkfish
375 grams (2 1/2 cups) peeled and cubed squash or pumpkin
4 Tbsp red curry paste, preferably homemade
250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
about 2 Tbsp fish sauce
about 1 Tbsp finely chopped palm sugar
kaffir lime leaves, sliced into thin chiffonade
slices of fresh red chilli, for garnish
Cut the fish into bite size pieces. Season them with salt on both sides, and allow to sit while you prepare the pumpkin.
Cut the pumpkin or squash into wedges.
Remove the seeds and peel, then cut into bite size chunks.
Do not shake the coconut milk, so the coconut cream will still float on top. Skim it off with a spoon into a saucepan.
Heat the coconut cream over medium-high heat, stirring, until it starts to ‘break’.
Add the curry paste.
Stir for a couple of minutes over medium-high heat until the curry paste becomes very fragrant.
Add the pumpkin or squash.
Stir until the pumpkin or squash is covered with the curry paste.
Add the remaining coconut milk.
Bring to a boil.
Season with a tablespoon of fish sauce…
…and a tablespoon of palm sugar.
Cover and allow to simmer until the squash or pumpkin is tender (but not mushy). In my case this took about 20 minutes.
Test with a fork whether the squash or pumpkin is tender.
Add the fish and most of the kaffir lime lead chiffonade, and turn off the heat.
Stir until the fish is covered with the curry sauce, then cover the pan, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Season the curry to taste with fish sauce.
Garnish the curry with cilantro, sliced chillies, and the remaining lime leaf chiffonade.
As many Thai dishes, this is great with a Gewurztraminer from Alto Adige in Italy.