By -Jimmy Shu


  • 600 gskinless barramundi fillets, cut into chunky cubes
  • salt
  • 2 stalkslemongrass, white part only
  • 2bird’s eye chillies
  • 80 ml(⅓ cup)vegetable oil
  • 180 gred onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigscurry leaves, plus extra, to serve
  • 30 gginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 200 gsemi-ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tspground turmeric
  • 600 mlcoconut cream
  • 1 tspsugar
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced on an angle
  • Steamed basmati rice, to serve

Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Season the fish with a pinch of salt. Using the back of knife or cleaver, bruise the lemongrass and chillies.

Heat a wok over medium heat. Add the oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes or until golden. Add the curry leaves, ginger, lemongrass and chillies and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add 125 ml (½ cup) water, the turmeric and coconut cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the sugar, then check the seasoning. Add the fish pieces and gently poach for about 5 minutes or until just cooked through- a small knife or skewer should insert easily into the fish without resistance. Serve the curry with steamed rice, sliced red chilli and extra curry leaves.

Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.

Maeve O’Meara is back in Food Safari Water starting 8pm, Wednesday 1 August on SBS and then you can catch-up on all episodes via SBS On Demand. Visit the program page for recipes, videos and more.

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