Inspired by his family trips to Southeast Asia, Louisville chef Edward Lee created this rice bowl recipe, which slicks swordfish in an aromatic curry paste of turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, and coconut milk.
Curry paste: Peel back the woody outer layers of the lemongrass. Trim the root ends, then cut off 2 inches of the tender interior to use. Thinly slice and put in mortar. Peel and mince the ginger and shallot. Set aside.
Gently pound the lemongrass with the pestle for about 1 minute to break it down. Add shallot, ginger, and garlic, pounding about 30 seconds after each addition. By now, you should have a chunky paste. Add the turmeric and chili powders and continue pounding to create a thick, aromatic paste, 2 minutes. Set aside.
Fish: Cut the skin from the swordfish and slice into large chunks, trimming away any visible blood lines. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add fish in an even layer and cook until lightly brown, 2–3 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, tilting the skillet around to distribute the hot oil.
Immediately after flipping the fish, add curry paste to the skillet, distributing evenly. Let paste and fish cook undisturbed, 1–2 minutes. Add brown sugar, fish sauce, and coconut milk to the skillet. Tilt the skillet around again, then simmer over medium-high heat until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has reduced and thickened, 5–8 minutes. Stir occasionally so the fish doesn't stick.
Assembly: Make a bed of hot rice in a serving bowl; spoon the fish and plenty of sauce onto the rice. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves and mint before serving.