Curry is a variety of dishes originating in the Indian subcontinent that use a complex combination of spices and herbs but can also be found in various iterations and flavor combinations from countries like Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and as far away as Africa and the Caribbean. This version is inspired by Thai curries, which are called kaeng, along with some French ingredients and technique. This curry is spicy, creamy, and refreshing without overpowering the delicate flavor of the local Mt. Lassen trout.
The fish that we use in the dish at Fern Bar is a rainbow trout that is sustainably creek-raised at the foot of Mt. Lassen, just north of Sonoma County. These rainbow trout are allowed to swim and feed in a natural creek system, producing flavorful and healthy fish.
- ½ pound unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, julienne
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ stalk lemongrass
- 1 small knob ginger, peeled
- 1 small knob galangal, peeled
- 1 bunch green onion, whites and greens separated
- 1 stalk celery
- 4 large shiitake mushrooms
- 6 jalapeños, seeded and deveined
- 1 Thai chile
- 1 Tbl. shrimp paste
- 6 curry leaves
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 Tbl. fish sauce
- 1 13½ oz. can coconut milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 bunches cilantro, roughly chopped
- (4-6 portions) 6 oz. skin-on rainbow trout
In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, green onion whites, celery, mushrooms, jalapeño, and Thai chile. Sweat until all the vegetables are translucent and fragrant. Add the shrimp paste and curry leaves and cook until very fragrant. Deglaze with the white wine and fish sauce and reduce until dry. Add the coconut milk and cream and enough water to cover the vegetables. Simmer for 20 minutes. Blend with the cilantro and scallion greens until smooth and creamy. Season with salt. Serve with a seared piece of skin on trout.