Fish in Coconut Milk


500g kingklip or hake (cut into pieces)
500g large prawns, peeled and deveined (or you can add another 500g fish)
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp turmeric
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 stems curry leaves
1 Thai lime leaf
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised (or the zest of 1 lemon)
2 whole green chillies
3 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
½ tin chopped tomato
1 tin coconut milk
1 fish stock cube, dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
A generous glug of Fish sauce
1 punnet mange tout
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix half the lemon juice with ½ teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of salt, and pour it over the fish and prawns making sure it all gets rubbed in. Leave in the fridge until needed.
  2. Heat a little oil in a large pot over low and gently fry the onions until they soften.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic, curry leaves, Thai lime leaf, chillies, lemon grass, cardamom pods and the cloves. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Now add the chopped tomato, coconut milk, the rest of the lemon juice and turmeric, as well as the fish stock and allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes in order to develop all the flavours.
  5. Check the seasoning and add salt and crushed black pepper and fish sauce.
  6. When you are ready to serve the soup, bring the sauce to the boil and tip in all the fish and prawns. Put a lid on the pot and bring the sauce back to the boil.
  7. Throw the mange tout in just as the fish and prawns are almost cooked.
  8. The dish will be ready when the prawns have changed from glassy to opaque and the mange tout are a brilliant green.
  9. Serve in large, heated soup bowls with crusty ciabatta loaves or you can briefly cook some rice noodles and throw them in the soup at the last minute.