This is a favourite Thai dish packed with aromatic flavours like ginger, coriander, basil and kaffir lime leaves. For soft pillowy dumplings, take care not to over-process the fish as this stretches the protein stands and can make the texture of the dumplings tougher.
- 400 ml can coconut milk
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½ tbsp green curry paste
- 3 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp grated palm sugar
- 8 makrut lime leaves, bruised
- ½ cup firmly packed Thai basil leaves
- 4 cm piece krachai (see Note), cut into julienne (optional)
- chopped dill and steamed jasmine rice, to serve
- 6 white peppercorns
- 3 coriander roots, cleaned, scraped
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 2 cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
- 200 g firm white fish fillet, such as ling and blue-eye trevalla
- 200 g skinless ocean trout or salmon, skin removed, pin-boned, cut into 1 cm pieces
- 1 tbsp tapioca flour (see Note)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- pinch of white sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make dumplings, using a mortar and pestle, grind white peppercorns, coriander roots, garlic and ginger to a paste. Remove any bones from white fish, roughly chop and process in a food processor to a rough paste.
Place spice paste, fish paste and the remaining dumpling ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Using damp hands, roll mixture into 8 x 4 cm balls. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook dumplings for 4 minutes or until they float to the surface and are just cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a clean tea towel.
Skim thick cream from top of coconut milk, reserving remaining milk, and place in a wok with oil over medium heat. Simmer for 4 minutes or until oil separates from coconut milk. Stir in curry paste and cook for a further minute or until fragrant. Stir in reserved coconut milk, fish sauce, palm sugar and makrut lime leaves, then add dumplings. Cook for 2 minutes or until dumplings are heated through. Add basil and krachai, if using, and cook for 1 minute or until basil is wilted. Scatter over dill and serve with rice.
• Krachai, also called wild ginger and available in selected greengrocers and Asian food shops, is widely used in Thai and Vietnamese fish curries. If fresh krachai is unavailable, substitute pickled krachai also from Asian food shops.
• Tapioca flour is available from Asian food shops.
Photography by John Laurie.
As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.