Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thai fish curry with brown rice recipe

Thai fish curry with brown rice
Last night I was reminded why I cut back my consumption of processed food.  Michael Pollan gave a lecture on campus, and he came on stage with bags full of groceries that he picked up at Meijer (he got extra points in my book for making fun of Meijer!).  He had boxes of sugary cereal claiming to be health food, fat free yogurt with more sugar than the full fat counterpart, and splenda with fiber.  But the one that caught my attention was the Tropicana Healthy Heart orange juice.  Sounds innocent enough, right?  Well, it contains tilapia, anchovies, and sardines.  I almost gagged.  Guess who will not be drinking store bought orange juice for a long time.

I would rather drink juice that I've squeezed myself (or at the very least has no sea creatures in it).  And I'll eat my fish with a fork, thank you very much.  Here's a great recipe in case you need ideas for ways to eat fish in its solid form.  I did have trouble finding a firm white fish that's sustainable but still affordable, but I finally came across cod from the U.S. Pacific, which is at least a "good alternative" according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's standards. The flavors in this dish were mellow - I suggest adding a minced jalapeno if you're looking for something more dramatic - but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  The crunch of the water chestnuts was the perfect contrast for the flaky fish, and I wouldn't recommend making this without them.  It doesn't necessarily live up to "real" Thai food, but considering that it took about 10 minutes to make, it was a great substitute.

Thai fish curry with brown rice (adapted from Whole Grains for Busy People)
(Printable version)

1 can (13.5 oz.) light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp green Thai curry paste
pinch of sugar
1 cup corn kernels (frozen are fine)
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1 lb. firm white fish (I used cod, but halibut also works), cut into bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
zest of one lime
3 cups cooked brown rice

Combine coconut milk, water, fish sauce, curry paste, and sugar in a large saute pan, and bring to a boil.  Then stir in the corn, water chestnuts, and fish, making sure that the fish pieces are almost completely submerged in the sauce.  Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the fish is cooked through (about 4 min), stirring occasionally.  Stir in the cilantro and lime zest, and serve over rice.  Serves 4.


MaryMoh said...

Looks delicious. I love Thai food. It's good to cut down on processed food. I seldom use processed food, too.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

This sounds tasty! I agree on the cutting down of processed food. Honestly, though, that juice isn't nearly as bad as a lot of them out there! I bet those fishes are really just a fish oil supplement added to the juice. But still. Just eat the darn fish!

Joanne said...

That thing about the orange juice just made me feel ill! Yeah this is why I don't buy packaged products. I remember now. I gave up cereal last year because almost all of it contains HFCS. And honestly. I've survived.

This curry looks delicious! Thai food is just so awesome.

Leah said...

What?! I thought I'd heard everything, but anchovy orange juice was a first.


Juliana said...

Wow, what a nice fish dish...love curry therefore this sounds delicious.

Ben said...

I can't believe food corporations can get away with those kinds of products that claim to be healthy when in reality they are the worst thing anyone could be eating... I like to eat my fish with a fork too. And especially if it looks like this one. Hmm delicious!

Katie said...

Mary and Juliana - Thanks!

Alta - I'm sure they've figured out how to make it taste good and it's not nearly as disturbing as some of the weird/carcinogenic additives. But the idea weirds me out, and it's sad that people aren't willing to get omega 3s through things that naturally have them.

Joanne - I agree on the cereal. It's so hard to find anything with only real ingredients, and if you do, it's ridiculously expensive. That's why I love oatmeal :)

Leah - Yeah, I wish I could tell you that I was joking.

Ben - The sad thing is that there are so many worse examples out there. It's scary...