This is a classic dish using fish balls or dumplings rather than pieces of fish but, if time is short, slices of fish are acceptable. The fish is processed, then pounded, to give it more texture. Serve with salted eggs, and rice.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 12 oz (350 g) white fish fillets, without skin and bone, roughly cut into pieces
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) coconut cream
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste or bought paste
- 440 ml (15 fl oz/1¾ cups) coconut milk
- 350 g (12 oz) mixed Thai eggplants (aubergines), quartered, and pea eggplants (aubergines)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar (jaggery)
- 50 g (2 oz) galangal, thinly sliced
- 3 makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, torn in half
- a handful of holy basil leaves, for garnish
- ½ long red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced, for garnish
How to Make It
- In a food processor or blender, chop the fish into a smooth paste. (If you have a pestle and mortar, pound the fish paste for another 10 minutes to give it a chewy texture.)
- Put the coconut cream in a wok or saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the coconut cream separates and a layer of oil forms on the surface. Stir the cream if it starts to brown around the edges. Add the curry paste, stir well to combine and cook until fragrant. Add nearly all of the coconut milk and mix well.
- Use a spoon or your wet hands to shape the fish paste into small balls or discs, about 2 cm (¾ in) across, and drop them into the coconut milk. Add the eggplants, fish sauce and sugar and cook for 12–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fish and eggplants are cooked.
- Stir in the galangal and makrut lime leaves. Taste, then adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the last bit of coconut milk, basil leaves and sliced chilli.