Fish and Mandarin Orange Curry
Adapted recipe by silkroadgourmet
- 2 pounds of fish, gutted and heads removed
- 4 tablespoons sweet butter
- 1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, peeled, thinly sliced and separated into crescents
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 large thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and grated or minced (2.5 in. x 1 x 1)
- 8-9 Finger-hot chili peppers, minced, but with seeds and placenta intact
- 1 large tomato, cut into a large dice
- 1/2 cup water or orange juice
- 1 cup fish stock*
- 1-2 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated, and seeds removed**
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
- 1 teaspoon perilla seeds, lightly roasted and ground
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the onion slices when butter is warm. Stir and separate the onions as they warm and after a few minutes, reduce heat to low, cover and let the onions rest as if you were caramelizing them. Let the onions cook quietly for 15 or 20 minutes and then resume cooking over medium heat by adding garlic and ginger and stirring liberally. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the garlic starts to swell. Then add the chili peppers and the tomato, stir and cover again and cook for a 3-5 minutes.
Add the water or the orange juice (this can be done earlier if the contents of the pan are too dry) and stir well. When the water is warmed, add the fish stock stir and cooked until the contents of the pan are warmed. Now add the oranges and cover to cook. After about 3-5 minutes uncover and stir again, pressing down on the orange and tomato segments to let them release their flavors into the sauce. Then add the salt, Szechuan pepper and perilla seeds and stir well.
Chop the fish into serving pieces. I cut mine homestyle, which means having to battle bones at the table, but we don’t mind this. Over the many years we have been eating fish this way, we have become skilled at eating the top layer of fish and just lifting the bones out before tucking in to the top layer. If you use a different cut of fish, you will have to change (reduce) the cooking time to suit the cut.
Using the homestyle cut I just lay the fish pieces into the sauce and ladle the sauce over the fish. When all the slices are in the pan, cover and let cook for 5 minutes or so. Then uncover and spoon some more sauce over the fish and repeat for about 10-12 minutes to ensure the slices are fully cooked. Do not flip or turn the slices unless you are confident that you can do so gently without breaking the slices apart. When done, uncover, remove from the heat and plate as desired. Adding a bit of chopped cilantro as a garnish pretties it up just before bringing it to the table.
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