Fish Curry over Noodles (Khanom Jin Namya )
Khanom Jin Namya Curry is a popular lunch for many busy Thais, and it is also a traditional meal for Thai New Year’s/Songkran. You can make it yourself as below, or use an easy and tasty Namya Curry paste from the tin or tub available at Asian Markets. I like Mae Sri Lobo, and Mae Ploy Brands of Namya.
Variation on Namya-Nam Ngiew Namya Curry-use thin rice vermicelli (Wun Sen) in place of somen type noodles. Sometimes I use buckwheat somen for an extra taste-treat.
1 pound catfish filet, cut into chunks
1 small slice salted fish, rinsed of oil and dried (see below)*optional
1 stalk lemon grass, hard outer layers removed, sliced into 2” pieces, pound lightly to bruise and release the fragrance and oils
1/3 cup krachai (fingerroot), peeled (see below)**
2 tsp. fresh grated galangal
2 New Mexico or California chiles, soaked in lukewarm water, seeded and dried
1/4 cup de Arbol chiles, soaked in lukewarm water, seeded and dried
1/4 cup garlic cloves
1/4 cup shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 16 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbs. fish sauce
4 bundles somen noodles
4 sprigs Thai basil for garnish
1 cup green beans, parboiled in salted water for 2 minutes
large handful of bean sprouts (root end trimmed off)
1 cup sweet basil leaves
Place the catfish in a pan with 2-3 cups of boiling water. Cook until the fish is done about 10-15 minutes.
Remove and place fish on plate to cool.
Add the lemon grass, krachai and chiles to the broth and boil for 10 minutes, then add the garlic and shallots and boil for another 5 minutes.
Remove these ingredients and place in a bowl and set aside.
Place the fish and ingredients in the bowl of your food processor adding a little of the reserved broth to achieve a smooth paste. Put this prepared paste into the remaining broth.
Add the coconut milk to the broth and fish paste, stir, and heat throroughly.
Add fish sauce (nam Plah) to desired taste.
This can be made ahead of time up to this point and kept covered in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve you just reheat the Namya.
Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the somen noodles. Drop the somen noodles into the boiling water and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the noodles from the water in 4 equal portions. I usually cook each bundle separately.
We usually plate each portion of noodles in shallow bowls, pour Namya Curry on top of each serving making sure the sauce penetrates the noodle bundles.
Garnish with sprigs of Thai Basil (Bai Horpha).
Notes: Krachai bottled in brine or frozen can be bought in Asian markets. I prefer the frozen krachai.