crispy curry fish w/ peanut sauce

curry cod with spicy peanut sauce

I am a very fussy eater when it comes to seafood dishes. So when I find one that I love and is easy peasy to prepare I have to tell my friends. I've also been known to stop people in Whole Foods and tell them all about my latest find. Just like when you read a really good book, the first thing you want to do is tell your family, tell your friends that they absolutely have to read it--now! That's how I feel with great new finds in recipes.
This latest greatest find is a recipe from mark bittmans book "The Best Recipes in the World". A massive book of worldly recipes, most of them easy oh so easy to create. It's such a valuable book for beginners and experts alike.
I didn't just use the recipe, I had to (of course) kick it up a notch and add a sauce. Don't get me wrong it's good on its own, I just wanted a sauce. I always want a sauce with a good meal.
Both recipes are from mark bittman, I claim none of this as my own, but I do suggest serving it with some sticky sushi rice. The sauce and the sushi rice are purrrfect together. You can also use shrimp instead of fish-- if you do let me know how it goes. Sorry the photo isn't so hot, I had hungry people waiting to eat and lack of light :-(

crispy curry fish
By mark bittman
print recipe

1 ½ to 2 lbs skinless cod fillets
1 TB vinegar
salt to taste
½ ts fresh ground black pepper
1 ts ground turmeric
2 ts curry powder or garam masala
¼ ts cayenne pepper (optional)
peanut oil or vegetable oil (for frying)
2 cups flour
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 lime wedges

Heat oven to 200°F. Place oven proof platter in it. Toss fish with vinegar.
Combine salt, pepper, turmeric, curry powder and cayenne pepper in small bowl, then rub mixture onto both sides of each fillet.
Pour at least 1/8" oil into large nonstick skillet.
Turn heat to medium high.
Combine flour with enough warm water to make a batter about as thick as yogurt.
Test oil to see if it's hot enough (a piece of flour will sizzle in it).
Turn heat to high. Dunk fillets into batter one at a time, letting excess batter run off, then place fish in pan. Please do not overcrowd.
Fry fish, rotating as necessary so filets brown evenly.
Remove fish when golden and crisp on each side for 5 to 15 minutes.
Keep warm on platter in oven while you cook remaining fillets.
Sprinkle cilantro over fish. Serve with lime wedges.

peanut sauce
By mark bittman

3 small dried red chiles (Thai or piquin)
3 garlic cloves
2 shallots, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, peeled, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon peanut oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts or crunchy peanut butter

Combine the chiles, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and turmeric in a food processor and grind and until fairly smooth; scrape down the sides of the machine once or twice if necessary.
Put the oil in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the chile-garlic mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Taste and add a sprinkle of salt or a little more soy sauce if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week (warm gently over very low heat or in a microwave before using). Makes about 2 cups.
For curry peanut sauce. Another layer of flavor: Omit the chiles, lemongrass, and turmeric. Instead, put one 2-inch piece of fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons of curry powder or curry paste in the food processor along with the shallots.


  1. I love fish curry and it always goes perfectly with rice. I think your photo turned out great! I will have to check out Mr. Bittman's book.

  2. That kind of curry is something I've been meaning to try again since I haven't had it since I was a teenager. It looks great and you can't go wrong with peanut sauce.

  3. I love fried fish, so I'm assuming I'd love this. It sounds so good!

  4. First off- love mark bittman. Doesn't he just have the BEST recipes? Second- I never would have thought to put a peanut sauce with fish! I also wouldn't have put in on veggies a year ago and now love it. Beautiful presentation. Are you getting excited for thanksgiving? What are YOU making??

  5. The fish looks great but all those ingredients in the peanut sauce have me drooling! Another great recipe from you! It was not cold in the Keys but I had just jumped out of a very cold AC car to snap the photo. It was very warm in the Keys!

  6. What are you talking about-- that picture is mouth watering!!! That looks so delicious. I love just about anything with peanut sauce. :)

  7. I adore easy peasy recipes, and Mark Bittman excels at this. I love how all of the ingredients are items that I already have in my pantry, this is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Never had a peanut sauce with any sort of battered seafood, but it sounds like a nice combination. And using shrimp could be a perfect idea...

  9. The fish looks great. I am a fishatarian. I can thrive on fish forever. And always looking for ways to make ' em'. I have several fish recipes on my blog.

    So will be great if you can take a peek. It is not everyday that you meet a person who makes such great looking fish!

  10. Here fishy, fishy and come over to my plate. lol. One of these days I need to try making myself some curry. Only if I can convince the members of the household to try it, too. One day, I tell ya.

    ps. Love the peanut sauce!

  11. thus ends my continuous love affair with your food. curried anything? no thanks. fish? nope. i'd drink the sauce though. :)

  12. Mmm, cod. I want some now. I like the sound of the peanut sauce with the curry.

  13. I'm loving the flavors of this crispy curry fish! Sounds fantastic with peanut sauce!

  14. Looks and sounds great. Adding to my to do list after Thanksgiving. Thanks!!

  15. haha.. i know what you mean. whenever I find anything new related to baking, i want to tell everyone, but avoid doing that in case i get weird looks!
    Love the addition of the peanut sauce!

  16. I wish I could cook with nuts at home but hubs is deathly allergic. I love him so it is worth it:)

  17. Curry and fish are a beautiful pair. Add in sticky sushi rice and you have a dream meal!

  18. MEOW..this is purrrfect!!!!

  19. oh and you photo is perrrfect too!!!

  20. Do you think you can keep a plate warm until i show up in let's say.. 10 hours? :)

    It looks delicious!

  21. You would get along well with my husband - he always wants a sauce! This sounds delicious and like something that I'd really enjoy.

  22. The lack of light these days is killing me! but this still looks quite delicious.

    And a sauce is a must!

  23. Oh this is one to definitely bookmark!

  24. Love that peanut sauce, and it looks like it compliments the fish perfectly!

  25. Wow, this looks amazing!

  26. Love anything Mark Bittman comes up with! Clever you to add the sauce- which makes the dish, I think. And over rice would be perfect. YUMMY.

  27. I had to do a double-take... there is actually a savoury post on this blog?! :) Just teasing.

  28. Nice idea to add the peanut sauce. I'll try this with cod loin, which is my new favorite cut of white fish.

  29. This looks so delicious and like you - I love a sauce. I have to try this....and I'll be looking for that book. I have the "How to Cook Everything" and love it!

  30. such an artistic plate! this sounds like a fabulous pairing... and now i want some peanut sauce :)

  31. yummmmmmmmmmmmm!!! m sure gonna prep this for dinner :)

  32. This sounds so good. I've got fish in my freezer and am always running out of ideas on how to prepare it. Love the curry idea a lot.

  33. wow, crispy and with peanut sauce! yummy combo!

  34. I want this! I wouldn't have been able to wait for you to take photos before I attacked this dish. The peanut sauce alone would be worth making a double batch - half for the fish and the other half to just eat straight from a bowl!

  35. It would be helpful to read a comment from someone who actually tried this dish...

  36. Gerry: I tried it and it was good. Lots of flavors going on in there. Mark Bittmans recipes are always so good.

  37. I saw a recipe for a crispy fried fish with a curry sauce a while ago that I had wanted to try. This one with curried fried fish and peanut sauce sounds just as good! Definitely a must try!


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