Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Red Curry Barramundi

Barramundi! Barramundi!! That's fun to say. (I feel like Will Ferrell in "Elf" when he keeps repeating "Frrrrancisssco!! That's fun to say!" Speaking of which, Christmas is less than 5 months away. Wow. And I have not posted a recipe since March. My sincere apologies, but I doubt if any of you feel bereft.)

Anyway. Barramundi! I had never heard of this relative of the Sea Bass (which reminds me of the "Kick his @, SeaBass" line from "Dumb and Dumber" ... okay, I'll stop with the movie quotes.)

So sea bass... Barramundi. I do have a point. I had never heard of this fish before, but saw frozen fillets at CostCo recently and thought I'd take a crack at incorporating it into my seafood rotations.  It's a mild, flaky, white fish, and it's considered a sustainable seafood variety. The fillets defrost quite fast in a bowl of cold water, and cook easily since they're evenly thick.

I've tried a few different twists on using it in Fish Tacos (I'll blog that some other night) and then last night I was jonesing for Red Curry, so I thought rather than chicken or pork, I'd put fish in it.  I had a few garden-fresh veggies from my yard, and incorporated some green onions, yellow zucchini, sugar snap peas, and then a few other things from my refrigerator. 

This is the link to the company that markets Barramundi: The Better Fish


 3-4 fillets of frozen Barramundi fish, defrosted (or comparable white fish, like tillapia, sole, or red snapper if you want to go more exotic)

1 can coconut milk
2-3 tbsp red curry paste
1 lime
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar

2-3 cups of Thai-appropriate vegetables of your choice (such as carrots, sugar snap peas, onions, green onions / scallions, red bell pepper, zucchini, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms) I used sugar snap peas, white onions, green onions, bell pepper, and yellow zucchini

1 tbsp sesame oil



If you are serving this dish with any kind of rice, prepare rice according to directions on package.  I used black rice (aka Emperor's Rice) for this dish, and it takes a little longer to get soft. Start rice at least 10 minutes before starting the curry, as it goes fairly fast. 

Preheat skillet to medium high, and coat it with sesame oil.  Pan fry the barramundi fillets about 3 minutes on each side until it releases from the skillet, and is flaky and opaque. Flip carefully with a large spatula.  When cooked, take the fish out and set it aside on a plate. 

Add more sesame oil if necessary, and stir-fry vegetables in batches until "crisp-tender" and set aside until they are all cooked.  Return veggies to skillet, and pour in coconut milk, fish sauce, curry paste, and stir well until mixed thoroughly.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 8-10 minutes until sauce is heated up and veggies are tender. Add fish back in and pour sauce over the top to absorb into the fillets.  Squeeze lime juice over the top, and sprinkle crushed red pepper on top for more heat if desired.  Serve with rice on the side.

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