My neighbors and good friends brought me gifts of flavor from their recent trip to South East Asia. Among the spice blends and recipes was a packet of Kari-Ikan fish curry powder. I decided to try it out using a little bit of my own experience of eating Malaysian food.

The recipe turned out to be delightful! It has the right balance of spices, without overwhelming heat. The curry is quite rich and serves well with steamed sticky rice. Also, the veggies add some color and crunch to the dish. You want to use a thick white fish for this recipe, such as grouper, halibut or sea bass.

Malaysian Curry Fish Recipe

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  • 6 tablespoon, olive oil
  • 1 cup okra
  • 1 lb fish, cut in large chunks
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon Kari-Ikan fish curry powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tomato, cut in eights
  • 14 oz coconut milk
  • salt to taste

In a large fry pan, heat 3 tablespoon oil and fry the whole okra lightly. Cook it till it starts to turn brown but not fully cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, fry the fish pieces delicately. Again, allow them to form a crust but do not cook them through. The center should still be pink. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoon of the oil in a large fry pan or wok on medium heat. Add the cinnamon and curry leaves, fry for 1-2 minutes until the spice releases aroma. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Then sprinkle the fish curry powder and stir till well absorbed. Pour 1 cup of water into the wok and make sure to blend the spices well with the water. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 5-7 minutes. Finally, add the coconut milk and continue to simmer till the curry thickens (another 5 minutes). Stir frequently to make sure the fat from the coconut milk does not separate.

Mix in the okra, fish and tomatoes. Add salt according to taste. Now let the fish and vegetables soak in the flavors from the curry on simmer for another 10 minutes. Be careful not to leave on heat too long or the fish will get overcooked.

Serve warm with steamed rice.

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