Monday, 31 March 2008

Royal Foodie Joust: Malaysian Fish Kebabs

This is a strange post. Partly, because I already know it is going to seem inordinately long for the final effort. But also because I am currently flying over Carlisle at a cruising speed of 34,000 feet. Or so Pete, our captain, has just informed me! And finally, because I haven’t even finished cooking my dish yet (nor am I likely while at this altitude).

But I unexpectedly have to return to my native Scotland for a meeting on Monday morning… and decided to take advantage of the trip to stop in and see the parents – for a hug, a natter and some good, Scottish home-cooking! Tonight, I have chosen steak pie… made from skirt of beef and beef sausages, served with creamy mashed potato and real gravy. And I even get a proper breakfast tomorrow – square sausage pieces with broon sauce! Yum yum yum – it doesn’t seem too difficult to say no to the budget airline’s reheated soggy panini - even though my belly is rumbling!

So back to why I am writing my post at 34,000 feet, when I haven’t finished cooking! The Royal Foodie Joust is hosted by HRH Jen over at The Leftover Queen. I have been curious about it since I started food-blogging, and finally registered on the forum a couple of weeks ago. Each month three ingredients are chosen, and each entrant has to make a dish which includes all three. This month, the ingredients are coconut, lime and something from the sea… These are my kind of ingredients, and I had worked out my recipe within a few hours of registering!

Coconut and Limes!

But real life kicks in, and between Easter weekend, illness and work I realised that the only night I would have to make my dish was tonight – Sunday. Which gave me one day to write it up – perfect!

But my unexpected trip has thrown that askew. I briefly thought about offering to cook for my parents, but I selfishly wanted my mum’s home-cooking (plus, I haven’t told them about my blog yet so the camera may surprise them!)

I am now in Edinburgh airport – my steak pie was fabulous, the sausage square, and my meeting concluded to the satisfaction of all. I have, however, just eaten a rather sub-standard chicken Caesar salad (not so good) and am quaffing a large glass of pinot grigio (much better!) So here goes for 40 minutes typing before I have to proceed to the gate!

So, tonight I am flying back to Brighton, where upon I need to go to the supermarket to buy some fish, prawns and cilantro (fishmongers will be closed by then!), before heading home to finish cooking my entry for RFJ. I hope that by preparing the curry paste and dipping sauce yesterday morning, then by starting my post in the air, I will actually make the deadline!

I wanted to make something a bit different. The ingredients obviously call out for Asian handling, and it seemed like ages since I did something new. Soup? No, I seem to have made a LOT of soup recently. Curry? Meh. No, fancy something different, really. Asian-Brit Fusion? (Think coconut breaded cod, with chips and a limey tartar sauce…) Hmm… maybe not!

I eventually hit on an idea – spicy fish kebabs, with a limey dipping sauce. But I had to make the paste, and the dipping sauce, from scratch… This has more of a Malaysian influence – containing the slightly earthier spices of Indian cusine, as well as the fresh/salty/sweet of Thai food! The three key ingredients: lime, coconut and the sea, feature in every element of this dish… I’ll let you know how it goes later!!

A lot of chillies - 15 Thai red chillies to make 6 kebabs! I love the Thai shop round the corner!!

Malaysian Fish Kebabs

200g raw prawns
450g cod fillets
Half a grated fresh coconut
4 lime leaves, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup Curry Paste
3 Thai red chillies
6 lemongrass skewers
1 tsp brown sugar
Fish sauce/Thick Soy sauce – to taste

Take about 2/3 each of the prawns and cod and blitz to a fine paste. Roughly chop the remaining prawns and cod – you want a bit of interesting texture to it!

Mix both sets of seafood with the curry paste, coconut, lime leaves, lime zest, chillies and sugar. Take a little dod of the mixture and fry it til cooked through. Taste this and adjust seasoning with fish sauce/ soy as required. I suppose you could have only added half the chillies to this point, and adjust the heat here too – but I like it spicy so didn’t bother!!

My coconut - took me ages to get it to this!!

Divide the mixture into six and squeeze round the lemongrass sticks. Put under a medium grill for about 10 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through.

In their pre-cooked state!

Serve with the dipping sauce and wedges of fresh lime!

Yum yum yum!!!

If you like what you see, you can vote for me here - but do check out the other entrants - there are loads of fabulous entries - stores worldwide will be running out of limes and coconuts!

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javagirlkt's cookin' said...

nice job! welcome to the joust!

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Great entry! Real life really does mess with food blogging doesn't it???

Peter M said...

Kittie, you bang out a good entry...bravo girl!

You might even get my vote.

Bellini Valli said...

I would agree with yum, yum, yum...who knows you might be wearing an aprong this month...good luck in the Joust:D

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This looks absolutely delicious! I love all the flavors and how you made them your own!

Jen said...

Wow-- these are really impressive, the only other time I've seen someone use lemongrass skewers this was was on Iron Chef America.

Pixie said...

This sounds wonderful- I'll have to make it for myself one day!

Kavs said...

I don't know how you get ur pics looking so good - but they are GORGEOUS!

Ishy J. said...

This looks absolutely delicious!!

Anty said...

It looks great and I can imagine the taste, so I vote for you.

kittie said...

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments!
I really enjoyed making (and eating!) these - despite the rush :D

Psychgrad said...

Good to see the range of options for the curry paste. Does cooking the kebab on lemon grass add to the flavour or is it more for show? So many questions. It's a whole new world of flavours!

kittie said...

PsychGrad - I'm not sure if the lemongrass adds too much to the flabour - there is a lot going on anyway! Although you can smell it as you're eating - and apparently smell is a big part of taste...

Hmmm... that wasn't a very useful answer! If you use normal skewers, they'll still be good :)