We source all our fish fresh from the local community from Songo Songo*, an island close to Fanjove. This includes the delicious barracuda we are using in this recipe.
Barracuda are found in abundance around the island and a sustainable species to harvest in this area. They can reach massive sizes, with some barracuda here reaching over one and a half metres in length and weighing in at a whopping 20 kilograms.
Chef Abdi prefers using barracuda in this particular fish curry because of its firm texture. This means, with it being a firm fish it can hold up to being cooked without falling apart. If you live in Europe you can substitute barracuda for monkfish or any of the larger snapper species.
Below is Fanjove Island Chef Abdi’s barracuda coconut curry recipe for you to make at home. This is a hearty, deliciously fragrant curry with mouthwatering undertones of coconut and spices.
Barracuda Coconut Curry Recipe
Serves 12 people
Fish stock for Barracuda
- Fish bones
- 1/2 Carrot, roughly chopped
- 1/2 Onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Stems of lemon grass
- 3 Tablespoons fresh ginger
- 2 Star anise spice
- 1 Tablespoon whole Fennel, toasted
- 1 Bunch of coriander stalks
- 1 Fresh chilli cut in half and seeds removed
- 4 Pieces tamarind (or 50 grams)
Place all the ingredients into a four to five litre saucepan and cover all the ingredients with cold water.
Place on the stove and bring it up to a simmer. Do not boil it. If it boils you may lose a lot of the flavours from the vegetables.
Allow to simmer for two hours and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool down to room temperature. Once cool, strain broth twice through a muslin or cheesecloth and set aside.
Coconut & Ginger Sauce
For 12 people
- 3 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Onions, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
- 3 Tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
- 8 Cups of fish stock (as prepared earlier)
- 2 Teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 Vegetable stock cube
- 3 Tablespoons brown or treacle sugar
- 3 Tablespoons flour, mixed with some water to form a paste
- 1 Teaspoon salt
Fry the onions, garlic and ginger in sesame oil until translucent.
Add the fish stock, fish sauce, stock cube and sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly for 20 minutes.
Prepare the below ingredients and add just before serving.
- 1 big handful Coriander leaves and stalks Blended with ½ cup water
- 3 cups strong coconut milk (1 cup water with 10 Tablespoons coconut powder + 1 Tin coconut milk)
- Juice from 5 limes
- 200 grams per person of barracuda fillet cut into cubes 1.5cm by 1.5cm
Lastly, add the barracuda and cook for another six minutes. Serve with coconut rice, chapati and kachumbari.
* Selous Safari Company works closely with the communities on neighbouring Songo Songo Island. In 2020 great strides were made to bring important parties together for the first time ever when a new committee was established called the FTCCC - Fanjove Tourism Conservation Community Committee. This committee is made up of representatives from the SSC team, the Fanjove Island management team, the Songo Songo Village Council, the Songo Songo Divani (village leader), the BMU (Beach Management Unit), the Department of Fisheries and the private sector representing traders, dhow skippers, fishermen and commercial fishing businesses. This committee convenes every quarter to discuss challenges and work together for the greater good of the area.