Thai fish stew

Thai fish stew

Peter Penguin says...

This is genuinely stew-perb!

I’m not sure how genuinely “Thai” this Thai fish stew is but it doesn’t really matter as it’s awesome.


  • 2 limes
  • 300-350 g jasmine or basmati rice
  • 1-2 tbsps sesame oil
  • 1 x 400 ml tin of light coconut milk
  • 250 ml organic chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried bird’s eye chilli flakes
  • 400 g monkfish
  • 4 large scallops
  • 6 tiger prawns
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

For the spice paste

  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 1 spring onion
  • ½ bunch of fresh coriander
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsps groundnut oil


  1. To make the spice paste, peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic, then chop the chilli, lemongrass, spring onion and coriander, including the stalks.
  2. Place in a blender with the remaining paste ingredients and blitz until you’ve got a thick, aromatic paste.
  3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Peel the lime zest and add to the water with the rice, and wait for the grains to start dancing around. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain in a sieve.
  4. Pour 2.5cm of water into the pan, put it back on the heat, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover the rice in the sieve with tin foil and place on top of the pan for 8 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Place another large pan over a medium heat. Add the sesame oil, then the spice paste, and fry for a minute or so to get the flavours going.
  6. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and lime juice. Give it a stir, add the dried chilli, then bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Cut the monkfish into 1cm slices, then halve the scallops.
  8. Add the prawns, monkfish and scallops to the pan and cook for around 6 minutes. The fish won’t need long, so once it’s cooked through and the prawns have turned bright pink, take the stew off the heat.
  9. Add the soy sauce to taste. Put some rice into each bowl, then ladle over the stew.