I have found that as my diet shifts from the dishes I have enjoyed all my life based on my many years living in Italy, I find it more and more challenging to find dishes that don’t bring me back to a good plate of pasta or to many of the usual dishes I cooked for myself in the past. Focusing more on my weight and health these days and looking for more healthy options and at the same time variety and flavor I have discovered dishes that are both satisfying but at the same time help me stay focused on my somewhat new lifestyle when it comes to food.
The following recipe is one I came upon as I was exploring Asian food dishes, easy to make at home, with ingredients that easily and readily available at my local grocery store. Thai Style Halibut with Coconut Curry Broth has become one of my favorites. It’s a light dish, but one that is full of flavor and is filled with some of my favorite ingredients.
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 shallots, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste, or 2 teaspoons curry powder
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon, plus more for seasoning
4 (6-ounce) pieces halibut fillet, skin removed
Steamed spinach (I also use watercress or pea shoots which add earthiness to the dish)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Steam or sauté with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a chopped clove of garlic 5 cups of washed baby spinach for 2 minutes.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.
Season the halibut with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange the fish in the pan and gently shake the pan so the fish is coated with the sauce. Cover and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 7 minutes.
Arrange a pile of steamed spinach in the bottom of 4 soup plates. Top with the fish fillets. Stir the cilantro, scallions, and lime juice into the sauce and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the sauce over the fish and serve with rice.
I garnish with 5-6 steamed clams per portion which I cook separately in the traditional way. In a pot with some chopped garlic and olive oil and a half cup of white wine covered until they open up.
Easy to make, super healthy and full of flavor.