The 50th Anniversary Issue

Our 50th birthday issue is on sale now. We're celebrating five decades of great food and travel with our biggest issue yet.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 27th November, 2016 and receive a Villeroy & Boch platter!

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Red curry reef fish, pickled prawns and young coconut

You'll need

50 ml white vinegar 1 tbsp caster sugar 8 large uncooked prawns, peeled, tails intact 1 tbsp vegetable oil 4 reef fish fillets (about 160gm each) 180 gm green papaya (about ¼), cut into julienne on a mandolin Flesh of ½ young coconut (see note) 8 lychees, seeds removed 4 red shallots, thinly sliced 1 cup (loosely packed) each Thai basil, coriander and mint 2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges, to serve 1 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste To serve: toasted coconut flakes (see note)   Pickled shallots 110 ml white vinegar 75 gm caster sugar 1 coriander root, scraped 1 thin slice of ginger ½ pickled garlic clove (see note) ½ piece dried mandarin peel (see note) ½ kaffir lime leaf 6 small red shallots   Red curry 25 gm (5cm piece) galangal, finely chopped 10 coriander roots, scraped 8 dried long red chillies, seeds removed, soaked in warm water until soft, drained 2 small green chillies, finely chopped 3 red shallots, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped 1 tsp shrimp paste, roasted (see note) 60 ml (¼ cup) coconut cream 1 tbsp vegetable oil 3 white peppercorns, finely ground in a mortar and pestle 1 tbsp soft light palm sugar 100 ml chicken stock To taste: fish sauce


  • 01
  • Stir vinegar, sugar and 200ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, then set aside to cool. Blanch prawns in a saucepan of boiling salted water until just pink (1-2 minutes), refresh, drain and place in a non-reactive container. Add vinegar mixture and refrigerate for flavours to develop (1 hour). Drain.
  • 02
  • For pickled shallots, bring all ingredients (except shallots) and 150ml water to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Add shallots, simmer until just tender (2-3 minutes), transfer to a bowl, cool, then refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • For red curry, pound galangal, coriander, chilli, shallot, garlic, lemongrass, roasted shrimp paste and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle to a smooth paste and set aside. Heat coconut cream in a large saucepan over low heat until cream cracks and oil rises to the surface (15 minutes; see note), add vegetable oil and reserved paste and stir-fry until fragrant (6-10 minutes). Add peppercorns and palm sugar and cook until sugar starts to caramelise (2-3 minutes). Add stock, bring to the simmer, add fish sauce to taste and keep warm.
  • 04
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add fish skin-side down and fry until skin is crisp (4-5 minutes). Reduce heat to low, turn fish, fry for 1 minute, then set aside in pan to rest (5 minutes).
  • 05
  • Combine papaya, coconut, lychees, shallot, herbs, lime juice, pickled shallots and 100ml pickling liquid, toss to combine and add fish sauce to taste. Divide red curry among plates, top with fish, prawns and salad, scatter with toasted coconut and serve with lime wedges.
Note For coconut flesh, carefully remove top of coconut with a sharp knife, drain liquid and scoop out flesh with a spoon. Toast coconut flakes in a 180C oven, stirring occasionally, until golden (3-5 minutes). Pickled garlic, dried mandarin peel and shrimp paste are available from Asian grocers. To roast shrimp paste, wrap in foil and roast in 180C oven until fragrant (10-12 minutes). To ensure coconut cream cracks, use organic coconut cream.

This recipe is from the April 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“Would Nick Holloway at Nu Nu be happy to share the recipe for his red curry fish?”
Maria Alexander, Brisbane, Qld

Request a recipe
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

You might also like...

Summer seafood recipes


Christmas pudding ice-cream

Summer salad recipes


Raspberry and Mint Mojito

Quick summer recipes


Neil Perry: Prawn cocktail

Christmas classic recipes


Serge Dansereau: Blueberry vanilla tart

Adriano Zumbo's Christmas recipes


Barbecue trout bundles with prosciutto and button mushrooms

Holiday entertaining recipes


Serge Dansereau: Homemade lemonade

David Thompson's Thai recipes


Serge Danserau: Duck confit and potato terrine

Strawberry recipes


conversion tool

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.