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Recipe from: Jun
Servings: 6 to 8
This should be served and eaten as soon as it's been folded into the sauce.
2 pounds catfish steaks or fillets
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup nam phrik kaeng phet daeng
2 tablespoons nam pla
¼ cup granulated sugar
vegetable oil for frying
cilantro, to garnish
If using fillets, slice them into 1 inch squares. Pat the fish dry with paper towels.
Pour about 1 inch of oil in a hot wok or deep skillet and bring to 375°F. Fry the fish, turning frequently, until it's firm and crisp, about 5 minutes. To make it Thai style (so the bones are edible), cook it 'til it's crisp all the way through. Set aside on paper towels.
Heat a wok or large saucepan and add ½ cup oil. Add the Red Curry and stir fry over medium heat until the curry is fragrant and thick, 5 or 10 minutes. The color will change to dark red and the aroma will be . . . full! Add the nam pla and sugar and mix them in well. The curry should be thick, but not pasty. If it's too thick, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a smooth, thick sauce.
Add the fish and fold it in very gently, making sure that each piece is evenly coated. Try not to break the pieces of fish. Remove the fish and sauce to a warm serving bowl, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with rice. Don't try to keep it warm, as the fish will get soggy.
Garnish with krachai (pickled rhizome) if you can find it:
Also see Phat Phet Pla Duk