Dry red curry of kingfish

Dry red curry of kingfish

New Thai Food
Jeremy Simons

If you cannot find or prepare rendered pork fat, use coconut or canola oil instead. The pork fat gives the paste depth of flavour. Try it with and without and see what you think – pork fat wasn’t my preferred choice until I tasted the difference!


Quantity Ingredient
60ml Rendered pork fat
or 60ml coconut oil or canola oil
2 tablespoons Red curry paste
1 tablespoon lesser galangal
3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 long red chilli, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon palm sugar, shaved
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons Chicken stock
1 x 200g kingfish fillet or other firm white fish, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 stick fresh green peppercorns, (optional)
2 snake beans, cut into 2.5 cm lengths
1 apple eggplant, cut into wedges
20g holy basil leaves
150ml canola oil
1 kaffir lime leaf, julienned, to garnish


  1. Heat the pork fat or oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring continuously until it smells fragrant, for about 2–3 minutes.
  2. Add the lesser galangal, lime leaves, chilli, palm sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce and chicken stock and cook, stirring continuously, for about 4–5 minutes. Be careful not to scorch the paste; if it is too hot, lower the heat and add a little more stock, and stir regularly. Check the seasoning – you want a hot, salty and sweet taste – and adjust if necessary.
  3. Add the fish and peppercorns, if using, stir and cook for 3–4 minutes. Carefully stir in the beans, eggplant and half the basil and cook for about 8 minutes, until the fish is cooked. Remove from the heat.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a wok over a high heat and fry the remaining basil for 30 seconds, stirring continuously to fry the leaves evenly. Drain on absorbent paper.
  5. Spoon the curry onto a serving dish and garnish with the fried basil and lime leaf. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
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