I've been threatening for weeks to make a fish curry. With an abundance of freshly harvested, home-grown lemongrass, ginger and lime leaves, it was time to bust out the wok and make Balinese Swordfish Curry; Kari Ikan Todak.
Swordfish is packed with nutrients, is low in fat and sodium, and high in potassium. It's renowned for being ideal for controlling blood pressure, metabolism and reducing the risk of heart disease. It is also one of the few natural food sources that contain vitamin D and Niacin, a mineral which helps burn carbs! What a magical fish! It also has no natural predators; well, apart from humans...
However, it is not recommended to consume swordfish if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as it can contain a high amount of mercury. Any other lovely firm oily fish will work as a replacement; mackerel, salmon, tuna (gross!). And for my vego-friends out there, you could use thick grilled eggplant or tofu as a replacement.
Like Chinese cooking, preparing Indonesian dishes takes plenty of time but no time at all to cook. This one is quite a quick dish to prepare however once you get the hang of it. You can prepare the paste and refrigerate for up to 12 hours before cooking.
Balinese Swordfish Curry (Kari Ikan Todak)- Serves 2 as a main
- 1 cup of homemade stock
- 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk (or cream) - or one 440g can
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of tamarind paste
- 3 large slices of ginger, finely diced
- 2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised and knotted
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 3 lime leaves, finely diced
- 4 curry leaves, finely diced
- 3 fillets of fresh swordfish, diced into bite size cubes
- salt to taste
- fried shallots for garnish (I forgot this in my pics - woops!)
- coriander leaves for garnish
- extra chili for garnish
- coconut oil for frying
Curry (Kari) Paste
- 3 chilies, de-seeded and diced (more if you want a really spicy curry - this amount has heat but no burn)
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, halved
- 3 large slices of ginger
- 3 lemongrass stalks, white ends only, diced
- 2 ripe large tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon of shrimp paste
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of raw sugar (preferably organic fair trade)
- 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
- pinch of salt
- To make the paste; grind your coriander seeds in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar.
- Remove the skin from your tomatoes; simply score into quarters with a knife and immerse in boiling water for a minute. The skin should start to peel and separate, making it easy to remove.
- Take all your paste ingredients and blend until smooth in a food processor, or in your spice grinder (if it’s big enough). You could also do this with a pestle & mortar, but who has the time? Set your paste aside, or store in the fridge until ready to use. (This would also freeze well if your making it in bulk).
- Heat your wok to medium, add in your coconut oil and stir fry your ginger, shallots, tamarind paste, curry and lime leaves. After 30-60 seconds, add your curry paste and your knotted lemongrass. You can add in a little of your stock if your paste reduces too quickly. The colour should become darker quite quickly.
- Toss in your swordfish and stir fry for another minute, or until the flesh is sealed.
- Pour in your stock and coconut milk and allow to simmer for 5 - 10 minutes on low heat. Add salt to taste.
Serve your Balinese Swordfish Curry (Kari Ikan Todak) with fluffy Red Rice with Coconut and Lemongrass, and garnish with fresh coriander leaves, extra chili and crunchy fried shallots. If your cooking for kids, you can substitute your chili for red capsicum or green paprika. Enjoy!