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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Fish Head Curry

Dear SOS: A friend of mine just came back from fishing in Mexico and gave me a giant yellowtail fish head. But I can't find a recipe for fish head curry, a dish of Singapore. Is my 10-pound yellowtail appropriate ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 4
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 20 shallots
  • 10 dried Thai red chiles
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger root, sliced
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric, sliced
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, sliced
  • 1/4 cup oil, divided
  • 1 3/4 pounds fish heads
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp, soaked in water and strained for juice
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 5 small okra
  • 1 Chinese or Japanese eggplant, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Sliced green onions and tomatoes, for garnish

Step 1Blend the garlic, shallots, chiles, ginger, turmeric, lemon grass and 2 tablespoons of oil in a food processor.

Step 2Blanch the fish heads in boiling water for about 3 minutes, then soak them in ice water for a few minutes. Drain and set aside.

Step 3Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over low heat. Cook the garlic mixture with the curry leaves, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and continue stirring for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of water and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of water, tamarind juice, coconut milk, fish heads, okra and eggplant. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until the fish is cooked, about 5 minutes. Season with the salt and sugar. Garnish with the green onions and tomatoes.

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