Halibut is such a mild, flaky fish that it needs to be paired with a mild sauce. When many people think of curry, they don’t think of “mild.” This curry sauce, which is really more of a broth, is mild and sweet. Even “curry-haters” should try it because it will be a very pleasant surprise. And, as an added benefit, many of the spices used in curry have great anti-inflammatory capabilities. My kids (and my husband) always used to say they hated curry. I think when people have that aversion it often stems from a one-time visit to an Indian restaurant that had very strong aromas and tastes. Thai curry is very different from Indian curry. I started serving it at home without calling it “curry.” I found that if I said we were having “Thai food” for dinner, everyone was happy. So, try this. It’s “Thai food.”
First, make the sauce/broth. Chop the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and ginger. Your body can’t have too much garlic, ginger and onion during this time of year. They boost the immune system to help you fight off colds. Ginger (Sheng Jiang, in Chinese herbs), is a miracle worker in terms of phlegm, coughs, colds and nausea. It’s great in sauces, soups and teas. Put it in everything you can!!! In the winter, if you feel a cold coming on — right at the very beginning of the cold — boil a few slices in water for 20 minutes, and drink it. If you add a few scallions (roots and all) to this water and boil it all together, you will have what the Chinese refer to as a “release exterior” tea. Drink it, dress warm, get under the covers and go to bed. You will sweat out the toxins in your body. After you shower in the morning, you will feel much better. My daughter calls this tea “dumpling tea” because it tastes like Chinese dumpling dipping sauce.
Saute the chopped vegetables…
Next, add the carrot juice. The broth starts out this color.
And ends up this color.
Once you have this beautiful deep orange color, pour the sauce into a strainer, pressing down on the vegetables to extract the flavor. You will be left with a nice smooth sauce. Now, it’s time to add the zucchini and the coconut milk.
Halibut With Mild Thai Curry Broth
(loosely based on a foodnetwork.com recipe)
1-1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbs minced ginger
2-1/2 Tbs Thai yellow curry paste
1 quart carrot juice
1-1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk (from a can)
1 large, or 2 smaller zucchini, cut into small dice
1-1/2 lb skinless halibut fillets, cut into 4 pieces
salt and pepper
1 egg white, beaten well
1 cup almond flour
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
10 fresh basil leaves, julienned (for garnish)
Make the broth:
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and ginger. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in curry paste, cook 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Add carrot juice, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it’s a deep orange color, about 20 minutes. (Preheat the oven to 350 degrees now, so it’s ready to cook the fish.)
Strain the broth through a strainer, into a bowl. Press down on the vegetables to extract all of the juice and flavor. Pour the smooth broth back into the pot and add the zucchini. Simmer about 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is slightly tender, but not mushy.
Make the fish:
Season the fish with salt and pepper.
Dip the top of each piece of fish into the egg white, and then into the almond flour.
Heat oil in a large nonstick, oven-proof skillet. When hot, add the fish, flour-side down, and cook until nicely browned. Gently flip over and place the skillet in the oven. Cook until done in center, about 3 minutes if the fish is thin; a little longer if the fish is thicker.
Ladle about 1/2 cup of broth into shallow bowls. Top with fish. Sprinkle basil on top.