Wok-tossed catfish with galangal and green peppercorns

Wok-tossed catfish with galangal and green peppercorns

By
From
Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong
Serves
4
Photographer
Stuart Scott

This recipe also belongs to Mr Ta, the great fisherman from Chiang Khong who helped me catch a 12 kg catfish from the Mekong River. And it was he who introduced me to finger root, known in Thailand as 'krachai'. This rhizome gets its name from its shape, as it looks like many little fingers. It belongs to the same family as ginger and galangal, but is much milder in “flavour. If you can’t get fresh finger root, you can find it preserved in jars at your local Asian market.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
60ml vegetable oil
500g catfish or silver perch fillets, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
2 lemongrass stems, finely chopped, white part only
5 cm piece fresh galangal, peeled and finely sliced
8 finger roots, peeled and finely sliced, (alternatively, use some additional fresh galangal or young ginger)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, cut into wedges
10 whole fresh green peppercorns
6 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
2 long red chillies, finely sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 handful thai basil leaves
steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Method

  1. Add the vegetable oil to a wok and heat to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15seconds.
  2. Fry the fish, in two batches, for 3–4 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Remove from the oil and drain on papertowels.
  3. Transfer the hot oil to a metal container to re-use in other recipes, reserving a tablespoon of oil in the wok.
  4. Now add the lemongrass, galangal, finger root, garlic and onion to the wok. Stir-fry for 2 minutes over medium–high heat, or until fragrant.
  5. Return the fish to the wok. Add the peppercorns, kaffir lime leaf slices, chilli, fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar, then stir-fry for a further 3 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with the lime juice and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with the basil and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Tags:
Greater
Mekong
Luke
Nguyen
Red
Lantern
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Asian
Asia
South
East
Southeast
South-east
SBS
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