I do not profess to be an expert when it comes to using tamarind - I have only used it a couple of times, but to my way of thinking there seemed to be a little too much of it in this recipe. I did a little googling after I had finished dinner, and I found a similar recipe that used the same quantity of tamarind I had used, but it used tamarind paste - whereas the recipe I used called for tamarind concentrate. Perhaps this was the difference?
I am sure one of my Dear Readers out there will tell me whether a) the amount is wrong, or b) I am just not used the the taste - which ever way, if you are a tamarind expert we would love to hear from you.
The recipe was good, although after salivating over the photo several times, and finally attempting it I was a tad disappointed.
Here is the recipe as it was printed in Australian Good Food back in March this year.
Ocean Trout with Coconut and Tamarind Sauce
270ml light coconut milk
2-3 tbs red curry paste
1/4 cup grated palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs tamarind concentrate
1 kaffir lime leaf, very finely shredded
4 x 200g ocean trout fillets
1 1/2 tsp peanut oil
2 bunches gai lan, or other asian greens
1 long red chilli, cut into thin matchsticks
1/3 cup coriander sprigs to serve
To make the sauce, heat 1/4 cup coconut milk in a small saucepan on medium, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes, until oil starts to separate from milk. Add half curry paste and stir for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add remaining coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce and tamarind and simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened slightly. Stir in lime leaf and remove from heat.
Pat fish dry with paper towel. Spread 1 tsp remaining curry paste over flesh side of each fillet. Heat half of the peanut oil in a pan on high. Cook fish skin side down, for 2 minutes, until crisp. Turn and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until firm, but still pink inside.
Heat remaining oil in a pan on high. Separate gai lan stems from leaves. Cook stems for 1 minute, until bright green. Add leaves and stir fry for 1 minute, or until just wilted. Divide between plates. Top with fish, drizzle with sauce. Serve scattered with chilli and coriander.
** I also added 3 green prawns to each serve, I tossed them in a little garlic, then pan fried them along side the fish after I had turned it. I then placed the fish on a bed of boiled udon noodles - which were perfect for sopping up that lovely sauce.
Now as I said - the tamarind was a little overpowering for me, so you may want to adjust it to 1tbs and then taste. I also didn't use as much red curry paste as it called for - and didn't coat the fish in it. So if you do not like it really spicy, adjust the curry paste as well.
All in all though I did enjoy the meal - it just wasn't what I was expecting I guess. The picture had me envisioning a more "laksa type" sauce.
So Dear Readers have you ever seen a photo, and envisioned a totally different type of flavour? Have you ever made the recipe again? Please tell.