Hello Everyone! The secret to a great, vibrant, and spicy Seafood Thai Red Curry is of course the quality of the red curry paste, spices and aromatics, vegetables, and the freshest seafood you can find out there. The best thing about this dish is that it is pescatarian-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free!
When it comes to a seafood-loaded curry, versatility is one of the things that I love about it. You can pretty much load it up with any type of fish, shellfish, and seafood of your choice. The same goes with the vegetables. Also, depending on the ingredients you choose to add to the dish, it can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
For those who know me, I would normally tackle recipes like this by making my own paste. However, due to the limited availability of certain ingredients here in the Philippines, I thought long and hard before I opted to use store-bought paste. Just make sure that if you are using good-quality and authentic Thai Red Curry Paste. They can usually be found in the international aisle of any large supermarket chains.
PREP TIME 30 MINS| COOKING TIME 45 MINS| SERVES 4-6
200g salmon belly, skin removed* and cut into bite-sized pieces
100g baby clams, de-grit and cleaned**
100g baby mussels, cleaned and debearded***
100g baby squid, cleaned
50g snow peas
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 bunch baby bok choy, halved
2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, whole or sliced
1 block firm tofu, cut into large cubes
1 large lemon, juiced
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
1 small piece ginger, sliced
1 small red onion, halved then sliced
3/4 cup fish stock (or 1 fish bouillon cube dissolved in 3/4 cup water)
3/4 cup extra light olive oil
200ml full cream coconut milk
4 tbsp Authentic Thai Red Curry Paste
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
Thai basil leaves or spring onion, to garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* Do not discard the skin
** Find out how to de-grit and clean clams over on Just One Cookbook
*** Find out how to clean and debeard mussels over on Epicurious
Crispy Salmon Skin: Place the salmon skin into a bowl and toss with about 2 tablespoons of salt. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. This is to draw out the moisture from the salmon skin to get it nice and crispy when fried. Pat the salmon skin dry with a paper towel.
In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the 3/4 cup of extra light olive oil, or enough oil for shallow frying, over medium-high. The oil should be very hot, but not smoking or else the salmon skin will burn before fully crisping. Stir the skin around frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. The skin will look rubbery at first, so take your time as it can take a full 10 to 15 minutes for it to crisp up. Once crispy, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Set aside.
Preparing the Tofu: Meanwhile, if using tofu from a package, drain and allow to sit on a clean tea towel or paper towel to get rid of any excess water. Set aside for about 15 to 20 minutes for it to fully extract moisture.
In the same medium-sized frying pan, over medium-high heat, carefully add the tofu in and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and let it sit on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes, and set aside.
Seafood Thai Red Curry: In a soup pot or heavy duty Dutch oven, heat about 2 tablespoons of the extra light olive oil over medium-high and sauté the onions, ginger, lemongrass, and chillies until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the Thai red curry paste and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the fish stock and cherry tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and black pepper, as well as with the Thai fish sauce and brown sugar to get the balance of flavours up to your liking. Feel free to add more chillies in if you feel you need a bit more of a spicy punch to the soup base.
Add the lemon juice for some tang, together with the tofu bites, and followed by the snow peas. Cook the snow peas for about a minute and then remove them from the pot. Transfer to a separate plate. Do the same with the baby bok choy. This is to prevent the vegetables from overcooking.
Add the baby clams and mussels and cook for 2 minutes before adding the salmon belly and baby squid to the pot, together with the coconut milk. Cook for a further minute, or until the soup comes back up to a rapid simmer.
Turn the heat off and transfer the curry to a serving dish. Garnish with the crispy salmon skin, Thai basil leaves or spring onions, and fresh chillies. Serve immediately with steamed rice and enjoy!
Hello Everyone! I find it hard to believe that it’s already the middle of the month – oh how time flies by so quickly! I don’t have a long-winded tangent to go on about tonight so this post will most likely be shorter than the previous two.
Paksiw sa Gata is a Filipino cooking procedure that involves two cooking styles – Paksiw (stewed in vinegar), and Ginataan (stewed in coconut milk/cream). This cooking procedure is a quick and easy way of preparing a fish dish; a staple amongst Filipino families.
You can use other cuts of salmon such as the heads, tails, and the flesh itself. Likewise, you can also use other types of fish such as Threadfin Bream (Bisúgo) and this unnamed White/Silver Fish that my mom used to get from the markets in Brunei for her paksiw (without the gata) dishes that we grew up on. The only reason why it’s unnamed is because I don’t actually know the name of it *cheeky grin*
Besides the protein, it is also an easy dish to incorporate greens into. Bitter melon (ampalaya) leaves are most common, but not restricted to. I absolutely detest bitter melon and its leaves, and so I opted to use malunggay leaves for this dish. Other common/favourite alternatives include spinach, water spinach (kangkong), and chilli leaves.
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME 20 MINS| SERVES 6
1 kg salmon belly, washed, scaled and, cut into large chunks
1 cup coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
1 cup water
1/2 cup spicy vinegar*
3 long green chillies
3 red bird’s eye chillies**
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red onion, quartered
1 bunch malunggay leaves
Thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
Salt, to taste
*Or you can always use normal white vinegar if you don’t sit well with spice
**Optional – only if you want your paksiw sa gata to have a spicy kick to it or not
Add the ginger, garlic, onions, chillies, black peppercorns, vinegar, and water into a medium-sized cooking pot. Heat over medium-high and bring to a brisk boil. Continue boiling for about 10 minutes to allow the vinegar to cook and for the aromatics to infuse into the liquid.
Turn the heat down to low, and slowly stir in the coconut milk in and season with a touch of salt. Bring to a slow boil. It is important to bring it back to a boil slowly to avoid curdling the coconut milk. This happens when it is heated too quickly.
Add in the salmon belly chunks and allow to cook for a further 5-7 minutes before adding the malunggay leaves in. Turn the heat off and cover for about 30-60 seconds to allow the malunngay leaves to wilt.
Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy with steamed jasmine rice. Paksiw and Ginataan dishes are always best eaten with rice!
This only just came into mind as I was finishing this post off. I thought back to popular (highly viewed) dish that I made a while back that also uses Salmon Belly (Pan-fried Salmon Bellies).
The next time I make this dish, I’m going to pan-fry my salmon bellies to get it nice and crisp. Then, cook the vinegar and coconut milk sauce separately and just pour it over the pan-fried bellies. There’s nothing I love more than a mouthful of crispy yet melt-in-the-mouth belly fat!
Hello Everyone! Today I’ll be keeping it short as I don’t really have an elaborate story to tell for this recipe. I basically came across these beautifully cut, extra large salmon bellies when I was doing my monthly grocery trip to Paddy’s Market back when I was in Sydney. Salmon was already a favourite fish of mine, and salmon BELLY is THE favourite part of mine. To fully understand how much I love salmon belly, I can eat it all day every day, until of course that is, if I get sick from the amount of good fats I’m consuming!
Anyway, so as I was saying, while I was at the seafood market looking for some prawns and shellfish, I came across these bellies and they looked too good to pass up! They were a bit pricier than the ones that you kind find at the Sydney Fish Market, but these were fresher and handled with care when it came to cutting them. Other places that sold salmon belly cuts had bones in them and looked like they were a week old – I didn’t mind spending about 10 bucks a kilo more for a much better quality cut.
I couldn’t think of any way that I could cook these bellies so I did a bit of research online on ways to cook salmon bellies. The most popular way of cooking it was by baking it, but I didn’t want to bake them to be honest just because I know I wouldn’t like the texture of the fatty bits. Then I got to thinking about why I liked salmon belly in the first place – it was because I liked how my Mom used to cook a salmon portion back whenI was in Brunei, by pan-frying it until the skin is super crispy and the little bit of fat at the end of the portion was crispy on the outside, but then melted in the mouth when you ate it.
So that’s how I decided to prepare my salmon bellies for you guys tonight, by simply pan-frying them and then topping them off with a simple soy sauce mixture to slightly coat it with a bit of flavour – nothing too intense to mask the goodness of the salmon belly. Okay, I know I said it’d be a short introduction, but I kind of said that before I even knew what I was going to talk about – I was going to say that I wasn’t in the mood to write anything, but I guess we know now that that wasn’t the truth! 😛
PREP TIME 5 MINS| COOKING TIME 5-7 MINS| SERVES 2
250g salmon bellies, washed and pat-dried
2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
2 stalks of spring onion, sliced
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Ground salt and black pepper
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, julienned
Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Season the salmon bellies with a bit of ground salt and black pepper. If your salmon bellies are too long to fit into your frying pan, you may cut them in half.
Place into the pan, skin-side down and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn it over and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and set aside onto a serving plate.
Add in the ginger and chillies to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Turn the heat off and then add in the soy sauce together with the spring onions. Pour over the top of the salmon bellies and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top.
Best served with some steamed jasmine rice. Enjoy!