Thai catfish curry is extremely quick and easy to make, healthy, and tastes excellent. The tropical flavors of the coconut, curry paste, garlic, ginger, chiles, and fish sauce work perfectly with catfish.
We’ve rated this recipe as EASY due to only having a few simple ingredients, a short cooking time, and being very forgiving of imprecise cooking. Just a quick simmer and you’re done.
If you haven’t tried fish curry before and you’re hesitant to try it this time, I’d recommend you take a leap and make it.
It’s easy and quick to put together and the ingredients can either be found at your local grocery store or online (see links in the recipe below).
In this recipe, we suggest that you can substitute vegetable oil for the coconut oil, but we don’t recommend it. The coconut oil carries quite a bit of the coconut flavor in the recipe and taking it out will make your curry less bold.
Coconut oil is somewhat expensive though as far as cooking oils go, so some hesitation makes sense. If you do splurge on it, be certain that you get virgin or extra virgin coconut oil. Refined coconut oil has very little flavor.
One of the biggest benefits of coconut oil is it is considered very healthy, some people even call it a super-food. It isn’t too often that a cooking fat gets that designation.
See all of our catfish recipes.
We recommend parboiled rice as a side. Parboiled rice is much easier to deal with at the campsite than regular rice, although we don’t think the texture is quite as good. You can quickly make it in a small saucepan on your camp stove while your catfish curry simmers.
Don’t forget to discard the ginger pieces before you serve everybody.
Thai Catfish Curry
- 1 1/2 lb. catfish fillets
- 1 tbs. coconut oil - you can substitute vegetable oil, but it won't have as much cononut flavor
- 2 tbs. red curry paste
- 1/4 cup coconut cream - layer from the top of a can of coconut milk
- 1 2 inch piece fresh ginger - cut into 4 or 5 disks
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 1 Thai chile or serrano pepper - halved, seeded and sliced into thin half-moons.
- 2 tsp. dark brown sugar
- lime wedges - for garnish
- fresh cilantro - for garnish
- parboiled rice - for serving
Before You Leave Home
- This recipe is so quick and easy that there isn't any need to do anything at home. Just pack everything in your ice chest and go.
At the Campsite
- Add the oil, curry paste, coconut cream, garlic and ginger to a pot and cook over medium-high heat. Fry about 2 minutes, until the curry paste is fragrant.
- Stir in the coconut milk, water, fish sauce, chiles and sugar. Add catfish fillets and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Flip fillets over and simmer 2-3 more minutes.
- Discard ginger slices. Serve with rice. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves.