Recipe: Kingfish Curry

Veggie Stock Base 3
As I didn’t take any photos of the curry, here’s one of a basic stock I often use.

What you’re looking for is a hot, deep red, thick curried fish dish. Indian Kingfish is a good, steaky fish that can take the heat. Swordfish will also work. Monkfish tail will work. I’d imagine flathead would too. Basically, you do not want a delicate fish, OK.

As I wasn’t expecting to provide this recipe but was asked for it, and we ate the curry for a standard Friday night, there are no cheesy photos. Sorry. Maybe next recipe, if I do one.

(Base units. Adjust to taste)

4 x Kingfish steaks – ideally frozen.

For the Spice Mix (garam masala / rub)
Mortice and pestle this lot if you can, leave it to sit. If you take a machine to it then you’re going to decimate everything and mess the flavour up.

  • 1 x tsp ground cumin.
  • 2 x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 x tsp smoked paprika.
  • 1 x tsp cayenne pepper.
  • 1 x tsp coriander seeds.
  • 1 x tsp dried ginger.
  • 4 x juniper berries.
  • Dried chilli to taste.
  • 1 x tsp peanut oil.
  • 1 x tsp rock/sea salt (useful in the grinding as well as flavour)

For the Stock
Only simmer, never boil. Basically you’re defrosting the steaks to flavour the stock which you will then use both for the curry and also to cook the rice.

  • The Kingfish steaks.
  • Handful curry leaves.
  • Thumb of fresh ginger rough chopped.
  • 1 x large carrot rough chopped.
  • 2 x medium celery stalks + leaves (‘celery herb’)

For the base fry:

  • 1 x tsp olive oil (v low smoking enough to soften onion)
  • 1 x tsp caster sugar.
  • 1 x tsp table salt
  • 3 x medium banana shallot sliced.
  • Shitload of garlic, knife-side bashed then chopped (not crushed in a bastard crusher.)
  • 1 x medium white onion sliced.
  • 2 x rough chopped Jalapeño (fruity flavour + heat)
  • 3 x bird’s eye chills

Second Fry Stage

  • 1 x tbsp of a good chilli sauce. I’ve taken to using Sriracha
  • 2 x tbsp peanut oil (high smoking for fish searing)
  • 2 x tbsp Shaoxing.
  • 1 x tbsp tamarind.
  • 1 x tbsp Nam Pla
  • 1 x medium lemon juice.
  • 1 x small lime juice.
  • Another handful of curry leaves.
  • Three kaffir lime leaves.


  • 1 or 2 x tin chopped tomatoes.
  • Tomato puree (or passata if you prefer – adjust stock in this case)
  • Marmite/Vegemite (for the umami if you like, add early in the liquid ‘fry’ stage)

Leaving the garam/mas aside to work.

• Simmer the steaks and other stock ingredients in water until the steaks have flavoured the stock but are not totally unfrozen.

• Remove all solids from stock. Put the fish onto paper towels. Reserve everything else and add later if to your taste.

• Dry off the steaks. Cover in the garam for 1/2 hour. Do prep for fry.

• Start the slow fry of the dry fry ingredients. These are for flavouring so don’t flash fry.

• You can tell when it’s good to go when the onion is softened.

• Add the steaks and garam. Sear on both sides.

• Add the liquids mix. Wait for two mins or so for the fish to suck up the liquids.

• Add stock to cover fish. Wait 15 mins.

• Add rice if you are using rice (you can make chapati really easily, I have recipes). Cover. Simmer. for 3 mins or so. Turn off heat.

• Add tomato ingredients to fish.

• Now, keep tasting and adjusting for heat/sourness (more tamarind is good to have on hand as it does a better job at this stage than adding more lime and lemon acids).

• Check rice / make chapati.

• Serve with some chopped fresh coriander and sliced fresh Czechoslovakian Black (Capsicum annuum) chilli (I jest, I couldn’t find any, they are good though) probably best to use a Joe’s Long or Thai Hot chilli.

Please leave a comment. Many thanks.

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