4 x 180 g coley fillets , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, skin on, scaled and pin-boned
4 spring onions , trimmed and finely sliced
200 ml light coconut milk
a few sprigs of fresh coriander , leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
½-1 fresh red chilli , finely sliced
1 lemon , cut into wedges
For the rice
1 cup basmati rice
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There’s loads of coley (which is also known as saithe and coal fish) in the sea. Looks-wise it’s more of an ivory colour than the snow white you’re used to but it’s beautiful, absolutely delicious, sweet, meaty, and melts in the mouth. Funnily enough cats have been enjoying it for years – lucky things – and sadly a lot of it is thrown overboard as bycatch. Coley is really versatile. Coley is often half the price of cod so you can feed twice as many people, or just save yourself loads of money.
Normally you’d start cooking a fillet of fish skin-side down, but I’ve gone flesh-side down here to really encrust the fish and get those flavours going. Korma is mild enough for kids to eat too and when something tastes this good, you’d be mad not to try it.
Add the rice to a small pan with 2 cups of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil on a high heat, then turn the heat down to low, cover and leave for 7 to 8 minutes.
Put a large frying pan on a medium heat. Use the back of a spoon to spread 1 heaped tablespoon of the korma paste all over the flesh side of the fish fillets. Add a lug of olive oil to the hot pan, then add the coley, flesh-side down. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning halfway when you’ve got some colour.
Check your rice – all of the water should have been absorbed by now so fluff it up with a fork and take it off the heat. Pop the lid back on so it stays warm.
Turn the heat under the fish up to high and throw in the greener half of your sliced spring onions. Stir in the remaining korma paste, coconut milk, coriander stalks and most of the fresh chilli. Let it bubble away for a couple of minutes until the fish is starting to flake apart. Taste your sauce and add a squeeze of lemon juice if it needs it.
Divide the rice between your plates then top each portion with a piece of coley. Pour the sauce over the top, then scatter over the reserved spring onions, chilli and coriander leaves. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.