Creamy coconut & lemongrass fish stew

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 10 Minutes, Cooking Time: 15 MINUTES


The flavour of this dish relies on that classic Thai flavour combo of salty, sweet and sour so ensure you taste it while it cooks and use fish sauce, sugar and lime juice to find the perfect balance.


  • 4 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Small handful of coriander (to taste)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp groundnut (peanut) or sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 200g green beans
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 500g firm white fish, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Small handful of mint, Thai basil and coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
  • For the rice:
  • 250g Thai jasmine long grain rice, rinsed 2–3 times
  • Pinch of salt
Tip the washed rice into a large pan and pour over 500ml cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and stir through to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stand for 5 minutes, then fluff up the rice with a fork.
While the rice cooks make the curry. Bash the lemongrass, coriander, chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar to form a rough paste (or you can blitz in a mini food processor).
Heat the oil in a wok or a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a high heat. Add the lemongrass mixture and stir-fry for about a minute until fragrant. Add the curry powder and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the beans then pour over the coconut milk and stock. Add the fish then stir in the sugar and fish sauce and cook for 3–4 minutes until the fish is translucent and cooked through.
Remove from the heat and add the spinach, lime juice and half the herbs; allow to wilt in the residual heat. Serve with the rice and scatter with the remaining herbs.