Weather: 30 degrees, light and welcome snowfall What I’m listening to: the dance of keys clicking on the keyboard against the hush of an empty house
Upon returning from my trip to California, I was excited to get back into my kitchen and cook something very local, very Alaska. Not long ago, I was drooling over a Thai Coconut Curry Poached Barramundi with Sauteed Spinach recipe by the lovely Laurie over at Simply Scratch. While we don’t have any barramundi in Alaska (go figure! Hehe.), we have some incredible wild halibut that works beautifully in this dish.
While this plate of food looks incredibly fancy and restaurant quality, it is quick and simple enough to whip up for a weeknight meal. On top of that, it’s healthy, too – lean fish, fresh greens, and a complex spicy-sweet broth bolstered by nutritious coconut milk (that… ahem… you might just be tempted to drink straight from the bowl. Fair warning).
Wild Alaska halibut fillets poached in a spicy sweet Thai coconut red curry broth and served over sautéed spinach. Adapted from Simply Scratch.
2 tablespoons olive oil
24 ounces fresh spinach
salt and pepper to taste
3 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (I used lite)
½ teaspoon sugar
4 wild Alaska halibut fillets
¼ cup cilantro, plus more for serving
¼ cup green onions, sliced on the bias, plus more for serving
1 half of a lime, juiced (cut the other half into wedges for serving)
2 cups steamed jasmine rice (optional)
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach to the pan and season it generously with salt and pepper. Toss the spinach in the olive oil until the spinach just begins to wilt down. Remove the spinach to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the moisture from the pan and return the skillet to the heat.
Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Saute the shallots in the oil for 2-3 minutes until tender and fragrant. Add the curry paste, followed by the chicken broth, coconut milk, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and allow the curry to reduce by half. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed.
Season the halibut fillets lightly with salt. Place the halibut fillets into the broth, spooning some of the broth over the top. Cover the pan and allow the fillets to poach about 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets), or until cooked to medium rare to medium, being very careful not to overcook (halibut dries out quickly and we want to avoid that).
Distribute the sautéed spinach evenly between 4 serving bowls. Carefully place a halibut fillet on top of each bed of spinach.
To the curry broth, stir in the cilantro, green onion, and the juice of half a lime. Ladle the broth over each of the halibut fillets. Garnish with fresh cilantro and green onion. Serve with steamed jasmine rice, if using, and lime wedges.
Sauteed kale or chard would also be nice in lieu of spinach.
We have never tried Red Curry Paste or Coconut Milk, but this looked so good it was time to try. Delicious! I used cod because halibut is a rare treat around here - hard to find - and thinly sliced zucchini because I forgot to pick up spinach. So, so good! Thank you for the recipe.