Friday, March 26, 2010

Thai Coconut Fish Sticks with Soup

This lovely dish was inspired by Ali from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. You can find the recipe here. I took a big step over winter break and bought some fish at Whole Foods to experiment with. I am rather new to cooking fish, but after reading Nourishing Traditions and all of the health literature I constantly immerse myself in, I have come to the conclusion that our family does not eat enough fish! Well, I knew that for a long time, but this is the first time I've actually done something about it! This was one baby step in the right direction-- we need to have fish in our diets! The tough part is getting my Mom to continue when I am at school (she is a great cook, but not as adventurous as I am), while also convincing my Dad and brother G that fish besides canned tuna really is delicious!

I happened to think that this recipe was a total success, but the boys did not agree with me so much. They are so new to the idea of fish - even fish sticks was too radical for them! It will take a lot of tries (and probably several different recipes) before they get used to eating more fish. They did conclude that the coconut topping would great on chicken. Hmph, fish is just chicken of the sea, right? My mom and I really loved the dish, however, and will definitely be making it again. I especially liked it because I had an excuse to dip them in some ketchup, of which I am a huge fan!

My Dad would like you to know that this was his plate that I photographed. I had already demolished the good presentation on mine. His plate featured rice with sauce on top. But I opted for no nice and instead had a bed of spinach with a bowl of soup on the side!

Coconut Thai fish sticks
Spicy Coconut Thai sauce/soup

Fish sticks
2 wild-caught yellowfin tuna steaks, cut into thick strips
2 wild-caught swordfish steaks, cut into thick strips
^or use 4 fish steaks of choice
organic coconut oil, as needed - for frying
1 cup shredded organic coconut
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp Thai Kitchen green curry paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Sauce or soup
1 can organic coconut milk, not lite
1 stick REAL butter - will probably reduce next time
4 cups organic chicken stock/broth - I use Imagine or Pacific brand (make sure there is no MSG!)
*Spices to taste: tumeric, black pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper

To make your fish sticks and dipping sauce or side soup:
1. Take your fish steaks from the package, rinse them in cold water and cut them into desired shapes. I did sticks, but quarter sized square "bites" would be a fun option as well!
2. In a large bowl, mix arrowroot and water, whisking well an adding spices.
3. In a small bowl, add coconut.
4. Heat up a skillet (do not use non-stick - you need to hear the sizzle!) on medium-high heat, and place about 2 Tbsp of coconut oil in to start with.
5. Making an assembly line, take prepared fish and dunk thoroughly in arrowroot/spice liquid, and then into the coconut, being sure to coat all sides of the fish. Don't worry if the arrowroot begins to "fall out" of the liquid. Just give it a whisk and continue to dunk. It will not stay suspended unless you heat it - which I did not do.
6. Place the fish in the skillet and cook until half of the fish is cooked through and has browned slightly on one side, then flip to finish cooking on the other side. Continue in batches until all the fish is done. Keep the ones that are done warm in the oven.
7. While the fish is frying, assemble the ingredients for the soup. Bring chicken stock to a boil and add butter, coconut milk and spices and turn to a low simmer, being sure to stir frequently, until the fish is done.
8. Serve your fish sticks with ketchup, garnished with some fresh parsley or cilantro. Place the fish on top of a bed of rice or greens, and ladel the soup as a sauce on top or serve it in bowls on the side. I also served oven roasted carrots with this recipe. Enjoy!

*I am sorry that I don't have exact measurements here. I found the recipe waiting to be blogged in my saved posts list and I do not remember the actual amounts I once used. As a rule, when adding spices, go light. Add each spice one at a time and adjust at each addition accordingly. Spicing dishes does not have to be scary! Once you try it a couple of times, you get used to how much of a certain spice suits your taste. If you are not used to spicing dishes from scratch (like my Mom) all you have to do is practice. Go slow and enjoy the excitement!


Mary said...

What an interesting presentation. Your fish looks and sounds delicious, Meagan. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Carrie said...

I LOVE Ali's recipes at Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen too! Her pictures are so beautiful and the food always looks so fresh and delicious! Those homemade fish sticks look really yummy! :-)

Meagan said...

Thank you both! I really enjoyed this recipe from start to finish and I will definitely be making it again! Keep watching for another version ;)