Sea trout, with Thai scented stew...

There are so many bugs flying around at the moment, that all I seem to be cooking are stir fries and curries - it's the desperate desire to get garlic, lemon grass and ginger into my family. All four have particular qualities for those suffering at this time of the year - the ginger relieve congestion, lemongrass helps with sore throats, chilli contains capsaicin, and is high in vitamin C, and the garlic has antibacterial properties...

Another week, and this time Hubby has somehow managed to perforate one ear drum, and has a double-heorrage in the other - he hasn't managed to hear clearly for nearly a week - so time to reach for the aromatics again.

As well as those medicinal herbs and spices, I'm including some gorgeous sea-trout (for protein and omega-3), sweet potato and butternut squash (contains beta-carotene, good for immunity), and a coconut-milk liquor (coconut milk contains magnesium, which is good for relaxing muscles and nerve endings, hopefully calming the raging tinnitus).

The resulting dish is not ragingly spicy, but full of aromatic flavour.

1 inch of ginger, grated
3 fat cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 shallots (or onion) finely diced
2 red chillies, finely sliced
2 sticks of lemon grass (I bash mine to release the flavour, them remove before serving)
500ml fish stock
200g (approx) butternut squash, peeled and cubed
200g (approx) sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 bulb of fennel, finely sliced
400ml coconut milk
Splash of fish sauce (nam pla)
Juice of two limes
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 large fish steak per person
Coriander, to serve


  • Gently fry the ginger, garlic and shallots until softened, but not coloured
  • Add the chilli, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, vegetables, stock, and coconut milk
  • Bring the 'soup' to the boil then pop into a warm oven to reduce.  I can't be more specific than that, though I would have thought around 170ºC would do it, for around an hour (as I was in London, I was cooking in the AGA, in which case it was in the second oven for an hour)
  • When the liquid has reduced and thickened to a stew-like consistency, pop the fish steaks, skin side up, onto the stew, and allow to heat through for barely 6-10 minutes until just cooked.  
  • Serve the fish on top of the stew, spooning a little on top of the fish.  Scatter the coriander, and a give it a good squeeze of lime juice.