Friday, January 29, 2016

Thai-Style Mahi Mahi in Coconut-Curry Broth with Spinach and Turnip "Noodles"

I have been craving Thai food lately, particularly curries, so a long-tagged recipe for Ellie Krieger's Thai-Style Halibut with Coconut Curry Broth made it to the top of the "to-make" list. I was going to replace the halibut with salmon from my freezer but since local mahi mahi was on sale, it ended up my fish of choice

Ellie serves the curry and spinach with brown rice but I wanted something noodly and just bought a new kitchen toy to replace my tiny spiralizer. The Inspiralizer has four different settings so I could make a linguine--style noodle which I thought would go well in the recipe. After seeing a salmon red curry dish with turnip noodles, I chose it as my veggie for this dish. Beyond the fish and the turnip noodles, I made some other small changes to the recipe, noted in red below--mainly looking to add more broth and toss in some extra favorite Thai flavors.

Thai-Style Mahi-Mahi in Coconut Curry Broth with Spinach and Turnip *Noodles*
Adapted from Ellie Krieger: The Food You Crave and via Food Network
(Serves 4)

5 cups baby spinach
2 tsp vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
4 shallots, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) (I used 2/3 of a sweet Maui onion)
2 1/2 tsp red curry paste or 2 tsp curry powder (I used 1 Tbsp red curry paste)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used low-sodium veggie broth, diluted w/ water)
1/2 cup light coconut milk (I used 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon, plus more for seasoning (I used 1/2 tsp total)
4 (6-oz) pieces halibut fillet, skin removed (I used mahi mahi fillets)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves (I used half cilantro/half Thai basil)
2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I used 3 Tbsp + lime slices to garnish)

(I added 3 kaffir lime leaves)
Freshly ground black pepper

(I added 1 turnip--spiralized into fettuccine-style noodles)

Steam or microwave 5 cups of washed baby spinach for 2 minutes, drain and set aside

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.

Season the halibut with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange the fish in the pan and gently shake the pan so the fish is coated with the sauce. Cover and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 7 minutes.

Arrange a pile of steamed spinach in the bottom of 4 soup plates. Top with the fish fillets. Stir the cilantro, scallions, and lime juice into the sauce and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the sauce over the fish and serve with rice.

Notes/Results: This was just fabulous--quick and easy to make and full of flavor. It really hit the spot for my curry noodle cravings. Speaking of the noodles, turnip noodles are my new favorite thing. They absorb the flavor of the broth and soften nicely--not as soft as a pasta noodle of course, but I like the little bite of texture they have. I don't know when I last had a turnip before this but I have a feeling there will be more in my future. ;-) I buy kaffir lime leaves when I see them and store them in my freezer to add to curries and such. There is such a lovely fragrance when they hit the pan and along with the Thai basil I had on hand, help add extra flavor to this dish. I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste, as it has no artificial ingredients. I find it medium-spicy, so depending on the spice level of your red curry and your tolerance, taste and adjust accordingly. One of those dishes that looks impressive on the plate but goes together in a snap--I will definitely make it again.

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--our chance to make any recipe by current IHCC chef Ellie Krieger or any of our previous IHCC chefs. You can see the chef and dishes that everyone picked by checking out the picture links on the post. 



  1. Deb, turnip noodles is such a great idea! I must try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That sounds fabulous. It looks good enough to feature in a magazine.

  3. I'm trying to eat more fish and this recipe sounds perfect.

  4. Your changes make this a better and tastier dish: turnip noodles, kaffir leaves and red curry paste. You practically rewrite the recipe and make it sing!

    1. Well the red curry paste is all Ellie--I just used a bit more--but I'll take credit for the other changes. ;-)

  5. I envy the fresh seafood that you have access to!

  6. Wow, turnip noodles! Sounds good and nutritious! And I can never say no to a bowl of curry noodles! Yum!

  7. Ok, I have to say it. Turnips remind me of Scarlet O'Hara. Who knew you could make something so delicious with them? She would be so pleased! So glad you are having fun with your new toy.

    This looks like it would satisfy any craving! Delicious.

  8. Using LOCAL mahi mahi. SIGH. What a wonderful world you live in. This does look delicious.


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