In New York, spring is halting—with March being an unpredictable month, sometimes teasingly warm, but often cold, raw and blustery. This Thai-style fish and greens stew, richly flavored with the Holy Trinity of of Asian aromatics—ginger, shallots, garlic—and spiked with red curry paste, is a delicious antidote to a season in transition, helping warm the body, soothe a sore throat, and relieve sinus congestion and allergies.
I like to use cod for its texture and flavor, but you can substitute it with another low-mercury white fish, such as flounder or sole. Cod is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B6—and an excellent source of Vitamin B-12, needed for brain and nerve health. Having too low a level of vitamin B12 can inhibit the production of serotonin, which affects mood, and contributes to depression. Other common symptoms of vitamin B-12 include anemia, neuropathy, fatigue and memory loss.
Thai-style Fish Stew
1-1/2 pounds wild cod fillet, slice on the diagonal and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups shallots, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 teaspoons red curry paste*
2 large bunches of green or red Swiss chard, leaves only, discard stems
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 15-oz can of unsweetened full-fat Native Forest coconut milk*
1 cup cubed (already roasted) sweet potato
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. When the coconut oil begins to sizzle (but not smoke), add the shallots. Saute about 1-2 minutes; lower heat, and sauté another 3 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add ginger; sauté about 1 minute. Add garlic, stirring into mixture about 1 minute. Add red curry paste, mixing well with other ingredients.
Add Swiss chard, stirring until the greens have wilted.
Fold in the chunks of wild cod, combining well with greens and aromatics. Stir in sweet potatoes and lime juice.
Pour in coconut milk, blending well with other ingredients.
Raise heat to medium and bring entire mixture to a gentle boil. Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fish is tender.
Stir in the Celtic sea salt.
Remove Dutch oven from the heat and let rest 5 minutes or so.
*Note: Thai Kitchen red curry paste is widely available at most supermarkets, and Native Forest coconut milk is found at many health food stores; both brands are available in bulk via Amazon.