Fragrant Cod & White Ale Curry

December 16, 2012
0 Ratings
Photo by QueenSashy
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

If there is anything that pairs better than beer and honey, it’s beer and curry, yet so very few recipes rely on this pairing. This curry is light and creamy, smooth and very fragrant from the lime, basil, lemongrass, coriander and cardamom. The white ale and a touch of curry paste contribute to a sunny yellow sauce. Be sure to have plenty of rice on hand -- the sauce is difficult to resist to. Feel free to substitute cod with any mild white lean fish -- red snapper, haddock, halibut, pollock, tilapia, all work well. —QueenSashy

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound cod filets, cut into 2-inch wide strips
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 large lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, finely shredded
  • 3/4 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 8 basil leaves, plus some more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice
  • Two 12oz bottles wheat beer (I used Blue Moon)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt
  1. Put the coriander seeds into a dry heavy skillet and set over medium heat for a few minutes until they become fragrant.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat for about 2 minutes, until soft. Add the red curry paste, lemongrass, lime zest, coconut milk, fish sauce, coriander seeds, cardamom pods and basil leaves, and simmer over low heat until the sauce becomes very thick and reduces to about 1/3 of the original volume.
  3. In a large saucepan bring the wheat ale to a boil. Add salt, and reduce heat to low until liquid is at a simmer. Add fish in a single layer, making sure it is completely covered with liquid. Poach until cod flesh is opaque and flaky, for about 8 minutes. Remove the fish from the beer, and place into four curry bowls. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the beer and discard the rest.
  4. Mix in the reserved beer into the curry sauce. Strain the sauce, place it back into the saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5-6 minutes. Mix in the lime juice and pour the sauce over the cod. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • leigh frat
    leigh frat
  • aargersi
  • ChefJune
  • checker
  • QueenSashy
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.

12 Reviews

leigh F. March 2, 2016
Do you strain the coriander seeds and cardamom pods?
QueenSashy March 2, 2016
Yes, I usually strain everything. It's the easiest. You can then put the cardamoms back at the serving time as a garnish.
aargersi December 24, 2015
We had this for dinner last night and it was FREAKIN' FANTASTIC!
QueenSashy December 24, 2015
Abbie -- I am sooooo glad to hear that and thanks for reporting back. Have not made it in a long time - must go do it asap! Happy Holidays!
ChefJune January 7, 2015
This looks amazing, but I am SO allergic to beer! QueenSashy, what would you suggest as an alternative?
QueenSashy January 7, 2015
I used white ale, which is not very beer-tasting in a classical sense, so perhaps just a nice, light vegetable broth.
checker July 23, 2013
I am always looking for a good fish curry and this is one I am going to have to make!
QueenSashy July 24, 2013
Thanks! Hope you will like it - let me know how it turned out.
kwatroba January 12, 2013
I made this and it was delicious! Making it again tonight.
QueenSashy January 14, 2013
Thanks so much for letting me know!
aargersi December 17, 2012
um, YUM! Love curry, love fish, love beer, pretty sure I will love this!
QueenSashy December 17, 2012
My favorite combination too!