This recipe is from our book, In the Small Kitchen. It's in the "dirt cheap" part of the Dinner Party chapter...in other words, it's a cheap dish that's still totally presentable to serve to friends. To keep this deeply flavorful stew cheap, we reduced the amount of fish and bulked up the stew with potatoes. You can stretch this even further by serving it with white rice--it should serve 6 (or even 8!) then. We spent about $20 total on the dish, which is crazy, since it has fish in it! But of course that will vary depending on where you live and what fishmonger you buy from. —Cara Eisenpress
small onions, thinly sliced
cloves garlic, thinly sliced
minced peeled fresh ginger (from a 2-inch knob)
medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices on the diagonal
cayenne pepper (or to taste)
mirin or white wine
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 1/2 pounds
waxy potatoes (red or Yukon Gold), peeled and cut into 11?2-inch pieces
bunches baby bok choy, washed and trimmed (or use 1 batch regular bok choy, cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 1/2 pounds
hake, catfish, cod, or tilapia or other mild white fish, cut into 8 pieces
Heat the oil in a lidded pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger; cook until soft but not browned, 8 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another minute.
Sprinkle in the curry powder and cayenne, and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the salt and mirin, and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 3 minutes, until slightly reduced. Pour in the coconut milk and 2 cups water, and bring to a boil.
Add the potatoes, return the liquid to a boil, and then turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. (You can make the stew ahead to this point.)
Add the bok choy and toss to distribute. Then add the fish pieces and arrange them so they are fully covered by the liquid. Cover the pot and simmer for 4 minutes, until the fish is cooked through but not falling apart. Add the lime juice to the stew.
Ladle the fish, vegetables, and broth into bowls, and garnish with the lime quarters.
I'm the founder, editor, and head chef at the blog Big Girls, Small Kitchen (www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com), a site dedicated to easy-to-execute recipes and stories from a quarter-life kitchen. I'm also the author of In the Small Kitchen published in 2011.