Use prepared Thai red curry paste and canned coconut milk to get this vibrant fish chowder on the table in 30 minutes.
I did not grow up eating this way. The closest thing we got to fish was canned tuna for sandwiches, Gorton’s fish sticks baked in a toaster oven, and Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips. It’s possible that, under protest, we ate fish my dad caught once or twice.
I had to learn how to cook good-quality fish.
After attending The Nutrition and Health Conference in Denver in March, I came home wanting to help my readers get more fish on the table. While the nutrition experts at the conference didn’t agree on much, they all agreed that eating more fish is a good thing. (Maybe not for the planet, but that’s another post.)
We are lucky enough to have neighbors who fish off the coast of San Diego, so we have fish in the freezer all the time. And I do not take that for granted. While the local tuna is lovely, I am always asking for rock cod, ling cod, and the other mild white fish they catch. Because I love making fish chowder. It’s so easy, so fast, both me and The Husband love it, and it barely even tastes like you’re eating fish. It’s the perfect recipe to introduce non-fish-eaters to fish.
If you’re following the migraine diet, my Migraine Relief Plan, or a low-sodium diet, you’ll need to make your own Thai curry paste. I do that, freeze it in silicone ice cube trays in 1 tbsp cubes, then keep those in the freezer in a ziptop bag for whenever I get a hankering for this fish chowder.
I add the vegetables to the Dutch oven as I prep them, stirring with each addition. That makes my prep time and my cooking time overlap, shortening the overall time to the table. You could also prep the veggies the night before to make cooking time faster. If you don’t eat white potatoes, sub another vegetable like butternut squash, rutabagas, or turnips.
paleo, Whole30®, gluten-free, celiac diets
Not recommended for:
vegan, vegetarian, low-sodium, migraine diets (see notes above)
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Quick fish chowder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp curry paste (Thai red) can use green, use homemade for migraine and low-sodium diets
- 1 bunch onions (green) scallions, spring onions, thinly sliced
- 3 carrots peeled, sliced
- 2 potatoes new, red, or Dutch gold, scrubbed and diced
- 1 bell peppers large, red, organic if possible, or 2 small
- 1 pound white fish (firm) cod, tilapia, halibut recommended, cubed
- 14 ounces coconut milk full fat, canned
- 1 limes optional (omit for migraine and low-tyramine diets)
- Heat the coconut oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.
- Carefully add the Thai curry paste and step back, as it will sizzle and spit. Cook for 1 minute, stirring if you can without getting burned. You want to bloom the flavors of the spice paste in the oil before adding other ingredients.
- Add the scallions, carrots, and potatoes, and sauté until starting to turn golden brown, about five minutes.
- Add the bell peppers, fish, and coconut milk. Be sure you scrape all the healthy fat out of the coconut milk can into the pot. Cover and cook just until it starts to boil, then turn down to simmer.
- Cook about 15 minutes (you can cook it longer). The longer it cooks, the more the flavors meld and the fish falls apart. If you are feeding picky eaters who don't think they like fish, don't even tell them it's in there. (And use only 1 tbsp of Thai red curry paste so it's not too hot.)
- If desired, add a squeeze of lime juice and stir in just before serving.