Crispy Catfish Curry: Pla Duk Tod Krob Phat Phed

Total Time:
2 hr 25 min
45 min
40 min
1 hr

4 to 6 servings

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Red Curry Paste, recipe follows, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cups shrimp or chicken stock
  • 1 cup canned, drained bamboo shoot strips
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh Thai basil, if unavailable use Italian basil
  • Steamed Jasmine Rice, recipe follows
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon Essence. Season the fish on both sides with the remaining teaspoon Essence.

  • In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1/2 cup of the vegetable oil to 360 degrees F.

  • Dredge 2 of the fillets in the flour, coating evenly and shake to remove excess flour. Fry the fillets until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spatula and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining fish.

  • Keep the fish warm in the oven while preparing the curry.

  • To prepare the curry heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the curry paste and soy sauce and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the bamboo shoots and stir to combine. Add the fried fish and cook until fish is heated through, about 1 minute. Season, to taste, with salt. Remove from the heat. Stir in the basil and serve with jasmine rice.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

  • Red Curry Paste: Krung Kaeng Phed

  • 20 to 30 red chiles, such as Thai chiles, depending upon taste

  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots

  • 1/4 cup chopped, peeled fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic

  • 2 large stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves discarded, finely sliced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon shrimp paste

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons lime zest

  • Salt to taste, depending upon saltiness of shrimp paste

  • Stem the chiles, and depending upon taste, keep or discard all or a portion of the seeds (which will make the paste hotter). Place in a bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the water.

  • Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots, ginger, and coriander seed and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process into a moist paste, stopping frequently and scraping down the sides, and adding 1 tablespoon of the chili soaking liquid or extra oil as necessary to make moist. Adjust seasoning, to taste.

  • Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. (Paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 3 months.)

  • Yield: about 1 1/4 cups

  • Steamed Jasmine Rice: Khao Suoy

  • 2 cups jasmine rice, other long-grain white rice can be substituted

  • 3 cups water

  • In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the rice and water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low, and cook undisturbed until the water is absorbed, 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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