Pad phed pladuk (hot & spicy catfish).

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
10½ ounce Grated Coconut (unsweetened)
2¼ pounds Catfish fillet.
3 tablespoons Finely sliced lemongrass.
4 \N Onions, medium size.
8 \N Cloves of garlics.
9 \N Dry red chilli, remove seeds
1 tablespoon Galanga, sliced thin.
1 tablespoon Kaffir lime rind, sliced.
2 tablespoons Cillantro roots.
2 tablespoons Krachai, finely sliced.
20 \N Fresh very hot Thai chilli.
20 \N Peppercorns
½ teaspoon Salt.
½ teaspoon Coliander seeds.
½ teaspoon Cumin.
3 \N Mace.
2 \N Cardamom
½ teaspoon Nutmeg.
4 \N Kaffir lime leaves.

1. Use the grated coconut to make 1-¼ cups of coconut milk, by adding ½ cup of very hot water, and working the mixture thouroughly and squeezing out the coconut milk. You may also substitute an equivalent amount of canned (unsweetened) coconut milk.

2. Cut the catfish fillet into medium size cubes (about 2" x 2").

3. Discard seeds from the dry chilli, and soak in cold water for at least a half hour.

4. Separate about ½ cup of "cream" from the coconut milk, and heat in a frying pan. Fry the catfish pieces in the coconut "cream" till just cooked and put aside.

5. Put the following ingredients in a motar: salt, peppercorns, cumin, coriander seeds, mace, cardamon, nutmeg. Pound till well mixed into a fine pulp. Drain the dried chilli (discarding the water) and add to the paste in motar. Continue pounding till the chilli pieces are mixed in. Add lemongrass, galanga, kaffir lime rind, cillantro roots, krachai, and fresh Thai chilli. Continue pounding until it's a fine well mixed paste. (NOTE: You may substitute with an equivalent amount of premade Thai "Red Curry Paste").

6. Take the above curry paste with the remaining coconutmilk, and fry over high heat till boiling. Lower heat to medium and continue frying, with stiring, till oil starts to form on top of the mixture.

Add the cooked fish pieces and the coconut "cream" mixture. Lower the heat to low, and gently cook till thouroughly heated. Adjust tastes with fish sauce and a little sugar (just to have a very slight sweet taste). Add several kaffir lime leaves and cooked for a little while longer.

7. Remove to a serving platter and garnish with slices of fresh red chilli peppers. Serve with plain boiled white rice.

Submitted By JANE KNOX On 11-11-94

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