Thai Flathead and Mussel Curry

Kris: I grew up in Queensland, so I am used to hot weather. But I certainly didn’t expect it to be 36 C and super humid in Tasmania? The afternoon thunderstorm reminded me of home also. Anyway, what better food to eat on a balmy night than a fragrant, fresh thai seafood curry. (With a beer or two as well)

Thai Flathead and Mussel Curry

1 small brown onion

1 Tbs grated ginger

2-3 cloves garlic

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 tsp tamarind

1 tsp galangal

1 tsp dried chilli

1 tsp coriander seed

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tbs fresh coriander root

4-5 lemon myrtle leaves (or substitute 1 Tbs fresh lemon grass)

1 can coconut milk

1 cup fish stock

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs palm sugar

1 flathead fillet (skin on)

300g mussels

1 tomato

1 carrot

1 mango

fresh mint

fresh coriander

2 limes


Place all the spices, coriander root, ginger, tamarind, shrimp paste and garlic in a mortar and pestle

Make a paste

Fry the thinly sliced onion in a pan on medium heat for 5 minutes

Add the paste and fry off  for 5 minutes

Add the coconut milk and fish stock

Simmer for 25 minutes

If the sauce thickens too much add some more fish stock

Add the carrot (thinly sliced)

Add the tomato (diced)

Squeexe in 1 of the limes

Add the flathead (cut into slices)

Add the mussels

Cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes

Place the curry in a bowl

Garnish with fresh coriander, thinly sliced carrot and fresh chilli

Squeeze over the remaining lime

Serve with rice and a simple mango and mint salsa (a diced mango with some fresh mint)

Kris: I was thinking the Tuatara APA would possibly compliment the curry with it’s sweet malt and fruity hop character. It was actually  a bit too big for the dish. A lighter style pale ale could work, so would a Pilsner or Lager, maybe a Saison. Regardless of the matching not quite working, I was very impressed with the beer. The Tuatara Aotearoa Pale Ale is a big, hoppy Pale Ale with pine and tropical fruit hop aroma. It’s 5.7% ABV is well balanced with it’s sweet malt and hop bitterness.

Caroline: This is the best curry Kris has ever made. I love coconut based curries, and this one was no exception. It was creamy, zippy, spicy and hearty; everything was amazing. The flathead was tender and sweet and the mussels held their flavor and texture perfectly! I was eating just the sauce on rice when everything else was finished in the end, I couldn’t get enough. The beer was too sweet for this dish, I agree with Kris a simpler crisper lager would have been better. I think the curry needs to be the star in this match.

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