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December 13, 2008
Posted by talin

Stir-Fried Fish Fillet with Fresh Herbs

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Chef Chai prepared this dish with Basa Fillets, a type of Southeast-Asian fish.  You can use any kind of boneless, filleted, white fish that you wish.  Since whole, fresh peppercorns are generally not available, you can use ones packed in brine.

Stir-Fried Fish Fillet with Fresh Herbs

(pla pad cha)

(Serves 1)
1/2 pound fish fillet (ocean perch, rock cod, sea bass, snapper)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon red curry paste, or to taste (recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh Thai bird chilies or jalapenos, or to taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons lesser ginger (pickled rhizome or krachai), julienned (reserve some for garnish) (Aisle 13)
3 whole fresh peppercorns (Aisle 13 for ones packed in brine)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, julienned
1/4 cup Thai basil leaves

  1. Cut fish fillet into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add red curry paste, garlic and chilies. Cook until fragrant, stirring continuously to prevent them from scorching.
  3. Add the fish and continue stirring. Season with fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and chicken stock. When the fish is cooked, add lesser ginger, peppercorns, ginger and Thai basil leaves and keep tossing gently, being careful not to break the fish.
  4. Adjust seasoning, adding salt if needed, and transfer to a plate. Garnish with the reserved lesser ginger.

Note Instead of seafood, any kind of meat—chicken, beef, pork, lamb, venison, ostrich—works well in this recipe, too. For more richness, you may want to add a couple tablespoons of half and half or coconut milk and top the stir-fry with deep-fried basil leaves. In the United States, you might not be able to find fresh whole peppercorns or lesser ginger, but most Asian markets carry both jarred in brine.

Reprinted with permission from Thai Cooking Beyond Curry by  Chef Chai Siriyarn

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