Failsafe Fish Curry Tips
The first thing to remember is that using fish in a curry is easy. You don't have to go to huge lengths to get it right.
- The best tip for cooking a fish curry is to keep the best until last; add in the fish at the very end, minutes before you want to serve the dish.
- The next thing to remember is: be gentle. Place your fish pieces in your pot or pan of sauce and cover it with some of the sauce and let it gently simmer for a few minutes.
- If you stir the sauce a lot the fish can break up too much, so the best thing to do is just let it cook for 5 minutes on a low heat.
- Check a piece of the fish to see if it's cooked through, before serving.
- Make batches of your curry sauce or base without fish and freeze them. You can then just take some out and defrost and heat it before adding in fresh fish. This way you can have fish curry in a hurry using the freshest of fish available. We'd recommend always using fresh fish, preferably from a fishmonger.
Goan Fish Curry
A Goan fish curry has become one of India's famed meals abroad, with its mix of slightly sour tamarind, chilli, sweet tomatoes, coconut and coriander. There are plenty of goan fish curry recipes around and Felicity Cloake has trawled, if you pardon the pun, a lot of them and come up with what she calls the "perfect" one. Her recipe in The Guardian uses pollack but you could use a range of firm fish which won't disintegrate in the dish. Cloake's recipe is nice as it's not only a step by step guide to making the paste and sauce, but it's also a trip around the Goan fish tips from a number of chefs. She's done all the hard work to pinpoint what she reckons is a great fish curry. She's not too far wrong either; definitely one to try out.
Don't be put off if you haven't heard of this curry before, but it's worth checking out. Unlike a lot of other recipes, you fry the fish before returning it to the pot before serving. The great thing about this curry is it's really really quick to make and you could be eating it 12-15 minutes after starting to cook it. The recipe uses rohu fish, which is a member of the carp family, so carp would do just fine. You can also ask your fishmonger to recommend and prepare an alternative. At Nicky's Plaice we're used to finding good alternatives for recipes. Just drop in and ask. Most of the ingredients in this Machcha Besarou recipe are found in most supermarkets, but you may need to go to an Asian store for the samal fennel (black cumin seeds). Either way this is a great curry and something a bit different.
Thai Fish Curry
One of the great things about a Thai fish curry is how easy it is to make and accessible the ingredients are. Check out this Thai fish curry recipe which uses monkfish, but hake is a nice alternative which is often on offer. If you're making the dish for people with varying love of heat and chilli, don't worry; you can make it reasonably mild and leave a bowl of fresh chopped chillies for anyone who wants a bit more of a kick to their dinner. Thai fish curry is a simple way to get more fish on the menu along with a bit of warming ginger and chilli. Can't go wrong.
About Nicky's Plaice
We're a family run business on the West Pier in the Dublin fishing village of Howth. Opened in 1961 by fisherman Nicky McLoughlin, we've now three generations of the family working together to bring you the best in fresh fish and seafood, the best home smoked salmon and seafood snacks to go at weekends.