Burmese Fish and Tomato Curry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

My Asian Kitchen

My Asian Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2018

  • About

Burma is bordered by Thailand, India, Laos and China and the country’s food is freckled with spices, citrus and fishy influences from all of them. I love the simplicity of this fish curry. It’s delicate but still delivers a punch of quintessential Burmese flavours – hot, sour, salty and slightly bitter.

Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes


  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) firm fish fillets
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) fish or vegetable stock
  • juice 2 limes

Chilli Paste

  • 2 small shallots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 cm ( inch) ginger, sliced
  • 2 thumb-sized chillies, sliced
  • steamed rice, coriander (cilantro), lime quarters and crispy fried shallots, to serve


Slice the fish fillets into chunky pieces about 6 cm ( inches). Place in a bowl with the turmeric and fish sauce. Leave to marinate while you make the chilli paste.

To make the chilli paste, in a mortar and pestle or food processor, grind the shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies with a little sea salt until they are puréed.

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the chilli paste and sauté for 8 minutes until soft and slightly golden. Add the tomatoes, paprika and the stock. Let the liquid simmer for 10 minutes and then add the fish and lime juice. Cook until the fish is bright white, about 2–3 minutes.

Serve the curry with steamed rice, fresh coriander, lime quarters and some crispy fried shallots.