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Peanut Crusted Halibut with Tamarind Noodles


In Bermuda I used to always get a macadamia crusted fish at a restaurant called Blu. I have been wanting to do a nut crusted fish, but hadn't really gotten around to it, wondering what to serve it with. The idea came to me to do a peanut crusted fish watching Iron Chef one night. I thought it would be good paired with a tamarind pasta sort of giving the whole thing a pad Thai effect. I overcooked the fish, but the meal was still amazing and something I would recreate for a classy dinner.

Don't go nuts processing the peanuts (ha) or you will end up with peanut butter. Just pulse it until it is crumbly.

Next I processed some thai chiles, lime zest, and lime juice.

The peanut chile lime mix was awesome.

The tamarind was next. Peal and simmer in water with some bruised lemongrass. After about 20 minutes, push it through a strainer, discarding the seeds and stringy parts.

Some nice fresh egg noodles I found at the Asian market.

I made a paste of garlic, ginger and green thai chiles. Here it is frying in the oil. Next I added some scallions, followed by 2 eggs.

Crusting the fish is easy. Just put the nut mixture on top of the fish peices.

I put them into the frying pan and put the whole thing into a 400 degree oven. I only left it for 5 minutes but it overcooked! The pieces were really thin.

Putting the egg scallion mix into the pasta.

I cooked the carrots and some bean sprouts with the noodles in the boiling water. Put them in a few minutes before the pasta.

The sauce is the tamarind juice with fish sauce, brown sugar, and siracha.

This was really tasty!

And it looked classy.

The noodles came out awesome and had a pad thai flavor without the pain of frying everything in a wok.

Crust was about a cup and a half of peanuts, zest of 4 limes, juice of 2, and 4 thai chiles seeded.

The ginger/garlic paste was about an inch of ginger, 10 garlic cloves, and 4 green thai chiles seeded.

The tamarind sauce was about 10 tamarind peices peeled and 3 lemongrass stalks bent and bruised. Put these into a pot and cover with water. Simmer 20 minutes. Next strain this and push the pulp through a sieve. you want the strained water and pulp, but not the stringy seedy parts. To this tamarind water, add about 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of fish sauce, and a few tablespoons of siracha. Most Americans, even ones who love pad thai, will find this sauce to be disgusting and smell terrible. After making it a few times, I enjoy the smell and taste of it, but my friends were grossed out and had to leave the kitchen. I suggest tasting it and see if you want it to be sweeter or spicier, but it might be tough for some of you to taste it! This isn't ment to be an insult, the smell is really pungent.  Right Rich and Kim?

Anyway, after that it's easy! Cook the pasta with some small strips of carrots and bean sprouts in a pot of boiling water. Strain. Cook the garlic ginger paste in some oil, add chopped scallions, add eggs, when the eggs are cooked, add to the pasta and mix. Add the tamarind sauce.

Press your crust onto the fish, place in a hot frying pan, put in a 400 degree oven for only a few minutes. serve over the pasta.


Oh man...
I will never forget churning raw tamarind with my bare hands and mixing the strained mess with fish sauce... it is the absolute worst smelling mixture to work with, but Thai food is like that - a lot of prep that results in some amazing flavor combinations.
Nevertheless, this meal looks so good, and if I make it, I'll just make sure to break out my Gasmask... now THAT will make for some good blog pictures! Heh...

oh, wow!

i definitely want to try making this :)

Oh Siracha! It just makes things so tasty. The peanut, chile and lime mixture would taste really good wrapped up in some lettuce leaves, maybe with some prawns or something?

This is my first go round to your web site. Your photos are to die for, your enthusiasm is contagious, and your way around the kitchen leaves me envious. The only thing that would make your recipe a tad easier to copy, would be to put at the end a somewhat printable version of what we see in the photo display. Of all the recipes I looked up on the internet to put some kind of a dent in the four pound bag of chopped peanuts I purchased today, yours was the most inviting. I will be back.
ps. I envy your wife, but I hope you leave something in the kitchen for her to do!

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