This Thai Mackerel Curry is a must-try. Not only is it packed with rich and delicious flavour, but it's also super nutritious. If you are after a speedy fuss-free solution to getting your weekly dose of oily fish, this Thai Mackerel Curry has got you covered. With the smoky flavour of mackerel, the tanginess of lime and the sweet creamy richness of coconut milk it's safe to say the flavours are complex. However, you'll be pleased to know that the cooking process is simple and quick. With a 30-minute cook time, this curry is ideal for busy weeknights. Doubling or tripling the quantities is advisable because this mackerel curry makes great leftovers and freezes well.
🛒 What do I need to make this recipe?
- Mackerel fillets - these can be fresh or frozen. Ensure frozen mackerel fillets are fully defrosted first. Other oily fish like herring or sardines are a good alternative to mackerel.
- Yellow curry paste - you can use store-bought paste or make your own. I tend to opt for authentic store-bought pastes because they taste nearly as good as a homemade paste and save a lot of time. Thai brands like Mae Ploy or Maesri are much more flavourful and authentic tasting than western Thai curry pastes. You are unlikely to find these in your normal supermarket but they are available in Asian grocery stores or online.
- Jasmine rice - Jasmine rice is the traditional option. Its slightly nutty and floral taste complements the flavours of the Thai Mackerel curry. You could use a different type of rice like basmati or brown rice. Quinoa is another good option if you want something a little healthier. Note, that the cooking times in this recipe are for jasmine rice and that the cooking times for other types of rice or grain are likely to vary. Read the packet instructions to confirm. A packet of microwaveable pre-cooked rice is a good option if you are short on time.
- Coconut milk - brings rich and creamy sweetness to the curry. Full fat and low fat versions will both work well.
- Red peppers and baby corn - I have chosen these veggies because they absorb the flavour of the curry sauce nicely. You can swap these for other veggies if you prefer such as green beans, courgettes/zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower.
Tools & equipment:
- Medium to large frying pan or Dutch Oven - choose a pan that is suitable for frying and simmering.
- Saucepan - if you are cooking rice on the stove
- Flat bladed knife - for removing the mackerel skin. You won't get yummy crispy skin in this dish so it's best to remove it altogether.
🧑🍳 How to make Thai Mackerel Curry
1. Pan-fry the mackerel fillets
Place a medium to large-sized frying pan on a medium heat and add oil. When the oil is hot add the mackerel fillets and fry for a few minutes on each side until they are done. Place the cooked mackerel fillets on a board, gently remove the skins with a flat-bladed knife and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
2. Fry the garlic, ginger and yellow curry paste
Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for two minutes until they are fragrant. Then add the yellow curry paste and fry for a couple more minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk and seasoning
Pour the coconut milk into the pan, stir and bring the liquid to simmer. Add the ground turmeric, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar. Then add the baby corn, red pepper, cooked mackerel pieces and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Serve immediately with rice and fresh coriander.
👍 Top tips for perfect Thai Mackerel Curry
- Use an authentic Thai yellow curry paste - Thai curry paste brands are much more flavourful and authentic tasting than western brands. It's worth taking a trip to an Asian supermarket or ordering online. Mae Ploy and Maesri are both good brands to try.
- Remove the skin from the mackerel fillets - fish skin is delicious when it is crispy, but as this is not possible in a curry sauce it's best to do away with it. No one likes wet slimy skin!
- Avoid over simmering the sauce - this recipe includes just the right amount of coconut milk to form a sauce so it does not need to be simmered for a long time to reduce it. Avoid simmering the curry beyond the time stated in the recipe. If you find the sauce has reduced too much add a little stock.
The cooked curry will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Just place the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate when cool. Ensure you reheat thoroughly on the stove or in the microwave before eating.
It certainly is. I always make a large batch so I can stash some portions away in the freezer for nights when I am feeling lazy. Just place portions of the curry into airtight containers, leave to cool and put them into the freezer. Make sure you defrost the curry in the refrigerator before you eat it and reheat thoroughly on the stove or in the microwave.
Mackerel is an excellent source of protein, omega 3, B12 and vitamin D. Eating mackerel regularly brings a number of health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, increased immune system and can even improve cognitive function.
One or two portions of oily fish per week is ample for most people. Mackerel contains a small amount of mercury so it's best not to eat it in excess - no more than four times a week for most people and two if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.