After a recent work-related event, I found myself carrying home a 14-ounce can of coconut milk, a bottle of fish sauce, a jar of red curry paste and dried lemongrass. What's a girl to do but the obvious, i.e., whip up a Thai-inspired dinner?
When I phoned Ryan and told him we were having coconut curry tilapia, it was like he'd won a prize. (I should have expected this: I'm pretty sure I noticed him staring longingly at the Madras curry powder I bought a month ago and hadn't opened.) Do people know that curry might just be a way to a man's heart? Perhaps I should alert the masses.
There was barely a trace of the sauce, which was supposed to be for four, remaining in the pan less than a half-hour later.
Coconut Curry Tilapia (adapted from Cooking Light)
Yield: 4 servings
1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 stalk of dried lemongrass (soften it in a bit of warm water before using—or just use fresh)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder (I used Madras)
2 teaspoons red curry paste
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tilapia fillets, approximately 6 to 8 ounces each
1 lime, cut in wedges
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Heat 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic and lemongrass and cook 1 minute. Add peppers and onions and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and curry paste; cook another minute. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and coconut milk and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat, season with salt and stir in cilantro.
3. Meanwhile, brush fish with remaining sesame oil and season with salt. Place fillets on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper). Bake 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
4. Serve fish with sauce, lime wedges and basmati or jasmine rice.
Someone just might want to Thai the knot with you after this one.