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One of Dan’s work colleagues comes from Thailand, she’s a very keen home cook and occasionally on a Monday, he will come home with a Tupperware box containing a bit of something miscellaneous that she cooked up for dinner on Sunday night (there is a slight communication barrier between them, so he seldom knows exactly what it is, despite asking). Obviously with her being Thai, it’s always authentic and very, very spicy. Also, it often contains ingredients that are new to us – for example, she once gave him a helping of ‘offal curry’. I was dubious about that one, however the accompanying sauce tasted very nice. Another was fish balls in some sort of potent broth. We couldn’t work out quite what they were initially, thinking they could be chicken, until we did a little research.

Common in Southern China, fish balls are basically just that, boneless little balls made out of pounded white fish. They are slightly rubbery and ‘surimi’ like in texture. Dan was very interested by them, so on his last routine visit to our local Asian supermarket to stock up on supplies, he picked up a packet of twelve balls to throw in the freezer. Since then, he had been busy devising a recipe to incorporate them into for our Friday night curry. He came up with an experimental Thai Green Curry dish, teaming them up with pork belly. Here’s how you do it:

What you will need (serves two):
– Packet of 12 Fish balls
– 350g of Pork belly (diced)
– 3-4 tablespoons of green
curry paste
– One tablespoon of vegetable oil
– Packet of choi sum (chopped)
– One tin of coconut milk
– Juice of half a lime
– Sugar to taste
– Fish sauce to taste

Method:
– Dice the pork.
– Marinate it in one tablespoon of the green curry paste for approx half an hour in the fridge.
– Fry in a wok until browned all over – put to one side.
– Fry the remaining paste until fragrant in one tablespoon of oil.
– Add in a splash of coconut milk to combine, add the rest of the milk and pork.
– Simmer on medium for 15-20 mins.
– Add the chopped choi sum and fish balls for 5 minutes or until the fish balls are heated through thoroughly and piping hot.
– Add lime juice and balance with sugar and fish sauce to taste.

This was an interesting meal, and the pork with the fish made it similar to a surf and turf, only Asian style. I think that everyone needs to try fish balls at least one. To be fair, most things taste agreeable when coated in a delicious Thai green curry sauce, but it’s a new texture to try out and I can certainly vouch for the fact that they are very filling. I was still full up the next morning and decided to swerve breakfast (and it was eggs!). Practically unheard of for me…

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