Hot and Sour Fish Curry

, from Issue #66. May, 2016
Photography by Jessie Casson.
Hot and Sour Fish Curry

Use whatever fish is freshest and best on the day but try and select one with a firm flesh so it doesn’t break apart. Salmon also works well with these flavours.

Serves: 4


800 grams fish fillets
½ cup chickpea flour, sieved if lumpy
sea salt and ground black pepper

vegetable oil for cooking
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons black or yellow mustard seeds 
1 teaspoon each ground turmeric, cumin and coriander
¼–½ teaspoon chilli flakes, or to taste
2 bay leaves
400 gram tin chopped Italian tomatoes in juice
½ cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar 


Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Cut the fish into large serving pieces and dust in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan and cook the fish until just cooked through and golden. Don’t have the pan too hot or the flour will catch and burn. Remove to a plate, cover and keep warm. Don’t wash the pan.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the onion. Cook until soft then add the ginger, garlic, all the spices and the bay leaves along with a splash of water if the pan is too dry. Cook for 2 minutes

then add the tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced a little. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar then add the fish and cook for 2 minutes until hot.

Serve with hot cooked rice, crispy shallots, coriander and lime wedges, if desired.