Coconut Fish Stew with Soda Noodles and Kale
1 lemongrass stalk
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoons chopped cilantro root
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1 lime
1 chile pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 6-ounce white fish fillets ( grouper, bass, snapped or cod)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces soba or udon noodles
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 bunch kale, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Remove the tough outer leaves from the lemon grass stalk. Smash the stalk with the flat blade of your knife and chop. Combine the lemon grass, garlic, ginger, cilantro root, honey, lime juice, chile pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the peanut oil in the jar of a blender and puree until chopped and makes a paste.
Heat the remaining peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper and place flesh side down in the skillet to cook about 2 minutes until the flesh is golden brown on one side. Remove from the skillet and cover loosely with foil. (it will not be completely cooked at this point)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Stir in the noodles and cook until al dente, 3-4 minutes or according to package directions. Drain the noodles and divide among 4 large soup bowls. Add the paste to the same skillet you cooked the fish in and cook and stir over medium heat until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar and bring to a low boil, reduce the heat and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the fish and kale and simmer 2-3 minutes more, until the fish is cooked through. Turn off the ehat and add cilantro leaves.
Carefully scoop out a piece of fish for each bowl and place on top of the noodles. Ladle the broth and kale on top.- over the fish and noodles. Serve warm.