Fish Curry with Ginger and Kaffir Lime Leaves

Since my travels in Vietnam I have become almost addicted to the unique flavour of kaffir lime leaves. You can buy them in oriental food shops and sometimes in supermarkets. Serve this curry with fragrant rice or Chinese noodles.


  • 450 ml/¾ pint hot water
  • 4 rounded tablespoons coconut milk powder
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 kg/ lb skinned thick cod fillet
  • 5 cm/2 in piece fresh ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 4 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 225 g/8 oz tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon


Pour the hot water into a measuring jug, stir in the coconut milk powder until dissolved, then add the salt and leave on one side. Slice the cod into large chunks. Peel the ginger and garlic. Cut the chilli open under running water and discard the seeds and stem. Chop the ginger, garlic and chilli together finely. Tear the lime leaves in half. Put the tomatoes into a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for about 2 minutes, then drain, peel and chop finely.

Pour the groundnut oil into a large heatproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and chilli and stir around for a minute. Add the lime leaves and tomatoes and stir for another 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and then stir in the oyster sauce and lemon juice. Bring just up to bubbling, then gently add the pieces of cod, cover the casserole and barely simmer for 20 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.