I absolutely love the smell of spice shops. Whether it be mounds of brightly coloured powder in barrels at the market, or in pretty acrylic boxes like Gewurzhaus that I’ve recently discovered in Sydney.
My first visit to the gorgeous brightly-lit shop at The Strand was during a catchup with fellow foodie friend Aaron, and I’ve been going back for inspiration ever since.
This time, I bought myself a small pack of Laksa Lemak spice mix, which smells absolutely heavenly. I wanted to remix the laksa that I’d grown up with, and use the spices to roast a side of fish, and add a tangy hit of tamarind and lime. The result is a crispy-skinned barramundi on a layer of aromatic coconut potatoes, with a side of sour and spicy pickled shallots, just in time for the Easter holidays.
An old favourite in my parents’ house has just become a new favourite in mine. 🙂
Laksa Roasted Fish with Coconut Lime Potatoes
For the fish
- 1 kg fillet of wild barramundi scaled and pin-boned
- 6 tsp laksa lemak spice mix*
- 3 tsp tamarind paste
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp coconut oil for frying
For the Coconut Lime Potatoes
- 1 kg washed yellow potatoes
- 400 g 1 can coconut cream
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Zest of 2 limes
- Salt and Pepper
For the Shallot and Lime Quick Pickle
- 2-3 large french shallots
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 bird's eye chilli finely chopped**
- 2 extra limes to serve
For the potatoes
- Heat your oven to 220C.
- Peel and cut the potatoes into serving size pieces.
- Place into a large pot with 1 tbsp salt with coconut cream.
- Add just enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to the boil.
- Boil till just tender, and drain.
- Strain the potatoes and return to hot empty pot.
- Give the potatoes a good shake with 1 tbsp oil - roughing up the outside of the potatoes causes it to crisp up better.
- Place the potatoes into a large roasting tray in a single layer, and season with some salt and pepper.
- Roast till the potatoes are golden, about 30-40min.
For the fish
- Mix the fish sauce, tamarind paste, and spices in a small bowl.
- Spread the paste all over the barramundi fillet and leave to marinade for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat coconut oil in a very large, wide frying pan on high heat.
- Place the fish skin side down into the pan, and sear till the skin is golden and lightly crispy.
- Remove hot potatoes from oven and toss with coconut oil.
- Place the fish meat side down onto the hot, roasted potatoes, and return to the oven.
- Turn the oven down to 200C, and roast for 10-15 minutes.
- Rest fish for 5 minutes.
For the quick pickle
- Finely slice the peeled shallots and place into a small bowl.
- Zest the limes, and reserve the zest.
- Juice 2 large limes onto the shallots, and mix with fish sauce, salt, sugar, and finely chopped chilli.
- Leave to pickle for 10-15 minutes.
- Sprinkle lime zest over the top of the roasted fish and potatoes, and scatter over some of the pickled shallots.
- Serve rest of quick pickle on the side.
**I love my chilli nuclear, so I add loads of chopped chilli to the pickle. If you'd like, you can also use the large red chillies, which are more fruity and less spicy.