Monday, 4 October 2010


My taste buds are honed to like Filipino flavours. It is the lesser known Asian food and unknown to most, a lot of Filipino food don't have Asian flavours at all.

When I discovered the tastes of Southeast Asia, I instantly liked it. It is so different, vibrant and exciting. The flavours I like are the aromatics used in most countries like lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and the warm curry pastes. These are the flavourings that are hardly used in Filipino cuisine.

My children love curries of all sorts and I always make them completely from scratch. I make simple curries but always elicit an exclamation of "mmmmmm!!!". Though the ingredients are few and simple, it is the sautéing that makes curries taste good.

Fish curry is one of the quickest to cook curries. I add in carrots and potatoes to   add interest and taste. Steamed rice, steamed vegetables, flat breads or poppadoms add in to make a wonderful, easy weekday meal. 


cooking oil for frying
2 waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly
a whole firm fleshed fish cut into steaks or fillets (such as red bream), about a pound in weight
flour for coating fish
salt and pepper
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic 
1 tbsp. of grated ginger
1/2 cup of coconut milk 
1 cup of water
1 red chilli
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. paprika
2 stalks of lemon grass, split in two and bash with a cleaver
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
1 tbsp. of fish sauce
2 tbsps. brown sugar
cooking oil for frying
flour for coating fish
salt and pepper


Shallow fry the potato slices until golden brown.

Season fish with salt and pepper. Coat lightly with flour and shallow fry (in the oil previously used for the potatoes) until golden. Set aside. 

Puree the garlic, ginger, chilli and onion in a food processor. 

Saute the pureed onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in 3 tbsps. cooking oil on low heat until golden. Take time to do this step as this is what makes curry taste good. As you sauté, the aroma will change and deepen. 

Mix the curry powder, ground coriander and paprika with a bit of water to make a spice paste and add to the pan. Stir fry for a few seconds until fragrant. 

Add water, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and carrots. Simmer on low heat. When the carrots are nearly done, add the coconut milk, fried potatoes , sugar and fish sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes. Lastly, add the fried fish and simmer for another 5 minutes. 

Transfer to a serving dish.

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