Tuesday, October 9, 2012

fish and rice stew

Mahi Mahi & Jasmine Rice ~ Thai Flavors
Ginger, Garlic, Lemongrass, Thai Chili
Thai Basil, Kaffir Lime, Scallion, Mint

Just like the previous post, Hot Spicy Fish Soup, this fragrant fish “stew” can also be made in less than a half hour — little more than the time it takes to cook a pot of rice. Mahi mahi is mildly sweet with a distinctively firm texture, the perfect fish for this style of cooking. I use fillets straight from the freezer. A jaunt through the garden and a trip to the farmers’ market for the fresh herbs and voilá, we have a vivid fish & rice dish with bold lively flavors.

Kaffir Lime

dwarf kaffir lime tree

The dwarf kaffir lime tree is happy here in my Southern California garden. The unique perfumey aroma and complex sweet citrusy flavors make the kaffir lime a little jewel in this cook’s garden! And the zest from the super-sour bumpy fruit is an indispensable ingredient in Thai curries.

double-lobed kaffir lime leaf

Kaffir lime leaves have a distinctive double lobe.  If purchased at the farmers’ market, the extra leaves can be frozen, and kept for several months then used directly from the freezer.

Mahi Mahi & Jasmine Rice with Thai Flavors ~ Recipe

thai fish stew

  • olive oil
  • 2″ piece lemongrass
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1 T. minced ginger
  • red thai chilies
  • 1 large kaffir lime leaf
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 c. jasmine rice
  • 2 c. coconut milk* (optional)

Slice the pale part of a lemongrass stalk into thin pieces, then crush with a mortar and pestle. Sauté garlic and ginger in olive oil until fragrant. Add the lemongrass, sliced red Thai chilies, a slivered kaffir lime leaf, and a bit of sea salt. Add jasmine rice and water in a 1:4 ratio (twice as much as for making traditional rice). *Note: I do not cook with coconut milk (due to the high saturated fat content) but coconut milk can be substituted for a half of the water. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, cooking covered until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

how to cook frozen mahi mahi

  • 2 mahi mahi fillets (6 0z. each)
  • thai fish sauce
  • sliced scallions
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • thai basil
  • mint
  • lime juice

Meanwhile cut slightly-defrosted mahi mahi into bite-sized cubes. Toss with Thai fish sauce, fresh ground black pepper, and sliced scallions. Marinate at room temperature until the rice is almost ready. Sauté fish in a hot skillet with olive oil until just cooked through. Remove from heat and toss with chopped Thai basil and mint. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


Ladle the soupy rice into bowls. Spoon fish over the rice. For a dramatic presentation, garnish with whole leaves of kaffir lime, Thai basil, mint, and lime wheels.

8 comments • Filed in: Heart Healthy

8 Responses to “Mahi Mahi & Jasmine Rice “Stew” with Thai Flavors”

  1. This sounds so good, really light and flavourful. I love your bowl too!

  2. I have a cold right now and I’m pretty sure I’d be cured if I ate a bowl of this!! I LOVE Thai flavors, but kaffir limes are definitely hard to find (ie, pretty sure it’s impossible) around these parts. Looks SO GOOD!

  3. zenchef says:

    Where do I start? That I’m jealous that you have a kaffir lime tree in your garden, that Thai food is one of my favorites, or that I would love to eat this dish so much. Okay, at least now you know where I stand on those issues. :)

  4. sippitysup says:

    I love the shape of the leaves. I had a small one several years ago, but it disappeared from the garden. Maybe the gardners killed it and did not want to tell me or maybe the neighbors picked it to death. It’s a mystery. GREG

  5. So fresh ~ I love Thai flavours {the mild ones ~ I don’t seem to have any stamina for hot flavours!!}

  6. Claudia says:

    You know _ id do love my life. Truly. But I’d just like to change places for 3-4 days – have access to Kaffir limes and their leaves from gardens – just a few days…. the soup just brims over with nuances and other worlds.

  7. Last time I made Thai soup I went to a Thai market in Hollywood for kaffir lime leaves, but they were sold out. Now I know which door to come knocking on next time I need them!! ;)

    • Lori Lynn says:

      I’d be more than happy to pop some in the mail for you Tori! We can’t possibly use all the leaves on the tree. Shoot me your mailing address, and you’ll have them in a couple days. My pleasure.
      LL

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