In a vain effort to eat more healthily, our new year’s resolution was to eat more fish. We are still eating all the delicious meat dishes we normally do, but interspersed with a few fish or seafood dishes. I’ve always loved fish baked in a Thai style. The fragrant combination of Thai spices is just perfect for trout cooked whole. Once you’ve made the spice paste this dish is an absolute doddle. The resulting dish is impressive in so many ways. What could be mor impressive to look at than a whole fish on a platter? And it doesn’t stop at appearance. The red sauce is mild and fragrant and absolutely delicious.
Red curry Paste:
1 stalk lemon grass (white only, sliced)
1 teaspoon fresh galangal (chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh turmeric (chopped)
5 fresh Thai red chillies (with seeds, chopped)
2 shallots (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
2 x medium rainbow trout (scaled & gutted)
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 large lime (sliced)
Thai basil leaves (for garnish)
To make the paste:
In the order listed, pound in a pestle and mortar into a smooth paste. Mix the paste with the coconut cream and fish sauce and set aside.
Pat dry the fish then make deep slashes in the skin, each side.
Preheat oven to 200ºC
Place one fish on a large piece of kitchen foil then pour over half the curry paste. Rub the paste into the fish, inside and out. Arrange half the lime slices inside the fish then bring up each edge of the foil and seal the fish in a parcel. Repeat process with the remaining fish, paste and lime.
Place the fish on a large baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Leave to settle for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Unwrap the fish and place on a serving dish along with any juices from the fish. Garnish with the basil and serve.