SNAPPER POACHED IN COCONUT MILK AND GARAM MASALA WITH FINE EGG NOODLES AND SNOW PEAS
Serves 4 - 6
1 litre coconut milk
6 kaffir lime leaves, cut into fine julienne
1 knob ginger, cut into fine julienne
30 ml fish sauce
4 tablespoons palm sugar
1 x 1 kg red emperor snapper, boned and skinned, and cut into 6 Portions
50ml coconut cream
leaves from 2 bunches of Thai sweet basil
TOMATO AND CHILLI BASE
1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 2 cm piece fresh turmeric, minced
5 wild green chillies finely chopped
1 large knob ginger, peeled and minced
2ó0ml vegetable oil
6 vine-ripened tomatoes, cored
1/4 cup green cardamom pods, roasted
1 teaspoon cloves, roasted
1 teaspoon white peppercorns, roasted
2 sticks cinnamon, roasted
4 star anise, roasted
To make the tomato and chilli base, cook the onions, garlic, turmeric, chillies and ginger in the vegetable oil in a heavy-based pot. Season with salt and cook slowly until caramelised (this can take up to 1 hour). Slice the tomatoes finely, cut into julienne and into 5 mm dice. When the onion mixture has caramelised, add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside until ready to use.
To make the garam masala, crack the roasted cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle and remove the black seeds. Combine with the rest of the spices and grind finely. Store in an air-tight container.
In a pot with a tightfitting lid large enough to hold the fish snugly, add the coconut milk, tomato and chilli base, lime leaves, ginger, garam masala, fish sauce and palm sugar. Bring to the boil. Add the fish, presentation side up, and lower the heat to just under a boil. Put a lid on and cook very, very slowly for 8 minutes, making sure that the mixture never boils. Remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes.
Add the coconut cream and the basil and replace the lid. Serve the fish with noodles and snow peas. Prepare and cook some noodles and blanch some snow peas. Place the cooked noodles and snow peas in 6 bowls and put the fish on top. Spoon lots of broth over the fish and serve.
Recipe thanks to Neil Perry & Rockpool