Snakehead Coconut Curry

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Hearty, spicy, and warming, this is the quick and easy meal for a weeknight. I’m usually kind of wary about breaking out the food processor for a meal- it just seems like such a hassle- but trust me when I say that it is worth it to have a rich and luscious curry sauce without much chopping or cook time. The fish, if you’re pulling it from the freezer, thaws quickly, and by the time you have your rice made, dinner is almost ready.


We use snakehead in this recipe, but any mild, firm to semi-firm fish is suitable. Cod, halibut, mahi mahi, wahoo, monkfish, or king mackerel would be equally at home here. You’ll want to avoid using a delicate fish like flounder, as it will tend to fall apart in this style of preparation. Oyster mushrooms are our most common find while we’re out and about but you can substitute store-bought criminis in a pinch. The shrimp paste is optional but adds a nice depth to the overall preparation. You can substitute fish sauce if you have that on hand instead.


Snakehead Coconut Curry

Prep time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2-4



Curry Sauce:

1 14 oz can coconut milk

½ bundle cilantro, chopped

2” fresh ginger, peeled & minced

½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp chili flake

2 tsp cumin, ground

2 tsp coriander, ground

3 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp turmeric, ground

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 fresh hot pepper, seeded and cored, roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cored, roughly chopped

1 cup water

The Rest:

1-1.5 lb snakehead fillet, skin off (whole or cut into 3-4 oz size pieces)

1 lb fresh oyster mushrooms, woody parts removed, torn or cut into fork size pieces

2 bay leaves

Salt, to taste

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Combine all ingredients for the curry sauce and blend until almost smooth. Set aside.

Season fish fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a high sided saute pan to medium high heat, add neutral oil & sear fillet until light brown crust forms, approximately 2 minutes per side. Turn heat down to medium-low and add in the curry sauce and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook until fish is almost done, around 5-10 minutes depending on thickness. If the fillet is not fully submerged in sauce, flip it over half way through the cook time. Add in mushrooms and cook for additional 2-5 minutes.

Serve over rice and garnish with any combination of chili peppers, scallions, cilantro, thai basil, or culantro.