Thai Coconut Fish Soup

This hearty, rich soup has surprisingly bright flavours & a slight kick. Great anytime of the year.

Serves 4 as a main course with a salad or serves 6-8 as a first course

  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil 
  • ½ onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 can (13.5oz/400ml) coconut milk 
  • 1 qt (900ml) chicken broth
  • juice of one lime 
  • three lime leaves
  • 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, crushed (optional)
  • 1½ Tbsp peanut butter we prefer fresh ground peanut butter from Kelcey’s Nutrition Centre
  • 1 tsp Thai green curry paste or Sybil's Green Curry Paste
  • 3 fillets Tilapia, thawed if frozen
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp each salt & pepper
  • ½ cup rice noodles, broken into 2-3 inch pieces
  • ½cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil in a soup pot and sauté the onion and red bell pepper until softened.  Spoon the coconut cream off the top of the can and set aside.  Add the skimmed coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice, lime leaves, and peppercorns to the pot and bring to a simmer.  When at a simmer, stir in peanut butter and Thai green curry paste until well incorporated.

Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch, flour, salt & pepper in a large, shallow dish.  Dredge the fillets in the mixture, patting to cover all surfaces.  Heat the coconut cream in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until melted.  Carefully lower the fillets into the pan, laying them away from you to avoid spatter.  Fry for 2-3 minutes without moving the fillets around so they won’t fall apart.  Turn fillets over and fry another 2 minutes.  If you’re using a small sauté pan avoid crowding by frying in batches.  Transfer the fish directly into the soup pot adding any residual coconut cream from the pan.  As the soup cooks, you can break the fish up slightly.  Simmer for 15 minutes and season with salt if necessary.  Toss the rice noodles into the soup and simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes until the noodles are just soft but haven’t become mushy.  Toss in fresh cilantro and serve immediately.

 Pair with a big, full-bodied Chardonnay, an India Pale Ale, or a Witbier.

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