Rick's amazing Catfish (thai style)
I met Rick through this blog and I'm very glad I did! He gave me one of his recipes to try. I was amazed! I had four friends over for this dish and we all thought it was the best catfish recipe we've ever had. This is simply delicious and very authentic thai tasting. And to top it off, it's also quite easy and quick to prepare.
Rick is working on his food blog as well. Once it's up and running, I will post the link on my blog.
One thing I love about thai food is the beauty of it! The raw ingredients put together look like a painting.
If you're interested in other thai recipes, check out the dinner I prepared for last christmas. I can highly recommend the seafood cakes.
For 2 people:
2 catfish fillets (about 1/2 lb), cut into 1 1/2 " pieces
2 tablespoons tapioca starch or tapioca flour
1 liter (33 oz) peanut oil for deep-frying
1 cup rice (for steamed rice to be served with the fish)
2 dried red thai chilies, roasted until lightly brown, then ground with mortar/pestle
1/2 shallot, sliced
1 green onion (spring onion), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cilantro, coarsely chopped
about 4 " piece of lemon grass, thinly sliced
2 fresh red thai chilies, thinly sliced
juice of 1/2 lime (if it's a small lime, use the whole one)
1 tablespoon mint, coarsely chopped
3/4 tablespoon Golden Mountain sauce (Maggi Seasoning can be used instead, is not as authentic thai though)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice powder (see description how to make it below)
Remove the fish from the fridge at least 20 minutes before deep-frying. Start preparing some rice in a rice cooker. Put the tapioca flour or starch in a bowl, add the catfish pieces and mix everything by hand until all the fish pieces are covered thinly with the tapioca starch.
Mix all the ingredients for Sauce A together in a bowl. Use less chilies if you don't like it too spicy. Put aside.
For Sauce B, roast 1 tablespoon rice over medium-high heat until it just slightly starts to brown. Ground with mortar and pestle into a thin powder. Mix all the ingredients for Sauce B together in another bowl. Use less chilies if you don't like it too spicy. Put aside.
Heat the oil in a big pan over high heat and don't leave it unattended. If you have a candy thermometer, use it to get the oil all way up to 375 F. If you don't have one, you can drop a tiny piece (like a breadcrumb) of fish into the oil. If it strongly sizzles, your oil is hot enough to start deep-frying.
Pre-heat the oven to about 150 F. You can skip the oven, just be quick with serving the fish, otherwise it will get cold too quickly.
Deep fry half of the fish until the pieces are browned (don't dry them out too much), remove the fish pieces and put them on some kitchen paper to drain the oil a bit. Move the drained pieces into the oven.
Deep fry the second half of the fish, drain and put into the oven.
Mix Sauce A and Sauce B together, mix well. If the sauce looks too dry, add more fish sauce and/or lime juice. Pour over the fish. Serve immediately with steamed rice. I like to drink Singha Beer (Thai Beer) with thai food. It balances out the spicyness very well.