Wednesday 31 August 2011

Coconut Noodles with Fish

I absolutely love Asian food. This love started when I was introduced to Chinese food around the age of 10 (this may seem late to you, but in Greece we didn't really have too many international restaurants when I was growing up). My uncle took us out to an Eat All You Want Chinese restaurant. Not a buffet Eat All You Want, but a 'order what you like' Eat All You Want Chinese restaurant! I think we only got through the starters we ordered so much. Oh, and the duck with pancakes. Mmmmm, Eat All You Want duck with pancakes! I had to unbutton two buttons that day!

Since then, I have fallen in love with Indian food, mostly from my University days, Thai food and, more recently, Japanese food. When I went traveling with my husband a year ago we really enjoyed the food in Cambodia and Thailand. The flavours were always so clear and fresh, and I completely fell in love with Fish Amok (a Cambodian Fish curry) and Phad Thai. We also did a brief Thai cookery course and learned how to do make beef Massaman curry. That was a fun day.

Unfortunately in spite of my love of eating Asian food, I have never been great at getting the balance of flavours right when cooking it. I mean, when I follow a recipe it works out just fine, but when I am just improvising its not quite right. In European food I tend to have a good instinct as to what works and how much I need to use of each ingredient. But Asian food is more complex and uses ingredients I am still familiarising myself with. In any case, this time I got it right! It worked and I am proud.

Serves 2

2 tbs vegetable oil
2 tbs red curry paste
1 red onion
1 can of coconut milk
1 tbs of fish sauce
200g of white fish fillet, cut into chunks (I used Hake - cheap and tasty)
100g french beans
100g baby corn
100g mushrooms
1 tbs crunchy peanut butter
300g rice noodles (that is the weight once cooked, so around 150-200g dried)
squeeze of lime

Heat the oil in a wok and add the curry paste. Fry off for 1-2 minutes, then add the chopped onion. Once the onion has softened a little, add the coconut milk and the fish sauce. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes then add the fish and the vegetables. Cook for a further 5 minutes and then add the peanut butter and the prepared noodles. Heat through and add a good squeeze of lime. Serve while hot.

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