Tuesday, August 16

Burmese Salt Fish and Duck Egg Curry

Bored of Tikka Masala? Want something out of the ordinary? Well here it is people.   The Burmese love duck eggs because they are richer in taste (and they seem to have a lot of ducks???).   You can get duck eggs everywhere these days - Waitrose has them but if you really can't source then hen eggs are absolutely fine.   Salting the cod preserves the fish in hot climes.   Not really relevant in the UK I know, but it does also firm the fish fillet preventing it from breaking up in the curry during cooking.   For four:

500g thick cod fillet
1 handful of rock or maldon salt
4 duck eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
50g butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 fat cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp chilli powder - hot, medium or mild
3 medium tomatoes, deseeded, skinned and chopped
400ml vegetable stock (made from a cube is fine)

Take the cod and place in a shallow dish. Rub well with a generous handful of salt, cover with cling film, place in the fridge and chill for 8 hours.   When ready, drain the fish, rinse thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.   Boil the eggs for 7 mins – this will be soft boiled - and then chill in iced water.  Peel and halve the eggs and set aside. 

In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the sliced onions and fry until golden brown and crispy.   Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside reserving the oil in the pan.   In the same pan add the butter, chopped onions and garlic and fry gently until soft and golden.   Add the turmeric, ginger powder, curry powder, chilli powder and fry for a minute or two allowing the spices to cook out and release their flavour.     Deglaze the pan with half the stock and transfer to a blender.   Process until smooth and return to the pan.

Add the tomatoes to the sauce and simmer for 10 mins until the tomato begins to break down.   Add the remainder of the stock, stir well and return to the simmer.   Place the cod fillet (cut into four portions) in the sauce, cover the pan and leave to simmer for 5 to 7 mins to cook the fish turning the fillets half way through the cooking time.   If the curry looks a little dry, add some boiling water, the sauce should be quite thin – the consistency of single cream.  

To serve, carefully remove the fish fillets and pour the sauce into warmed bowls.   Artfully arrange the fish fillets and the egg halves and sprinkle with the fried onions.   Serve with steamed rice.

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