Winner '11: Paul Richards

Oriental Fish Pie

  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 chillies
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Large handful fresh coriander
  • 725ml fish sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 x 400ml tinned coconut milk
  • Bottle of white wine
  • 4 lemon grass stalks
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 5 large or 8-10 small sweet potatoes, parboiled and thickly sliced
  • 25g butter
  • Large handful fresh basil
  • 2 fillets of firm white fish, such as cod, hake or monkfish, skinned and boned
  • 175g uncooked king prawns, peeled
  • 25g sesame seeds

  1. Blend the half of the onion, half of the garlic, chilli, lime juice, lime zest, cumin, coriander and fish sauce until it forms a paste.
  2. Heat a small bit of oil in a wok or large saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add the paste and cook for a few minutes until softened and combined.
  3. Add coconut milk, wine, lemon grass and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a separate large frying pan over medium heat and cook the remaining garlic and onion with the potato slices for 4-6 minutes per side, or until soft.
  5. Once soft, mash the potatoes with the butter and basil.
  6. Remove lemon grass stalks and bay leaves and pour the sauce into a casserole dish. Top with the fish and prawns.
  7. Smooth the mashed sweet potato over the fish and sauce and cook in a preheated oven at 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5 for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over a low heat for 2 minutes, or until they become fragrant.
  9. Remove the casserole from oven and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Garnish with a sprig of coriander and basil and serve.

Paul Richards

My mother who died recently was a great fan of fish based cookery and always loved when I came up with something like this. Unfortunately she never got to try this one and as she taught me most of what I know about cookery. I dedicate it to her.

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