tomato fish curry │ nga sipyan
We were served this fish curry at a local roadside restaurant on the way to the Shan state. I love it when we stumble upon such a find. The tomato sauce with tender pieces of fish and fresh coriander made the lengthy car journey worthwhile. When we came back to Rangoon, I asked my cousin if she knew how to cook the fish curry. We spent a wonderful morning cooking, eating and photographing the dish.
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 firm white fish fillets
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 whole dried chillies, soaked in hot water
- 6 tablespoons peanut oil
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 5 ripe tomatoes, blanched in hot water, peeled and chopped
- handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1Mix the turmeric and fish sauce in a bowl. Coat the fish with the marinade, cover and leave in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
- 2Using a pestle and mortar, pound the onion, garlic and chillies to form a coarse paste or chop everything finely. Heat the oil in a saucepan and caramelise the onion paste over a moderate heat for 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn as this will make the sauce bitter.
- 3Mix in the paprika and stir until fragrant before adding the tomatoes. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes until it has reduced to a thick sauce. Drop in the fish including any marinade and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Carefully turn the fish and cook a further 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through (cooking time will vary according to the thickness of the fish).
- 4Before serving, taste and add a splash more fish sauce if necessary. Sprinkle chopped coriander and serve with plenty of basmati rice.
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