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Sea Bass with Thai Curry and Pistachios

Photo: American Pistachio Growers
From: Chef Walter Manzke, République, Los Angeles. Yield: 4 servings.

1⁄3 cup pearl tapioca
4 stalks lemongrass
2 tsp. galangal
2 tsp. ginger
8 lime leaves
24 oz. coconut milk
1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2 limes
to taste, salt and pepper
½ cup high quality cooked white crab meat
¼ cup fresh corn
1 bunch white scallions, sliced
to taste, Thai curry paste
2 cups pistachios, shelled
20 oz. sea bass

For tapioca: Boil tapioca in water until cooked. Rinse in cold running water to remove starch. In small sauce pot, sweat 1 stalk sliced lemongrass, 1 tsp. galangal, 1 tsp. chopped ginger and 4 lime leaves. Add 12 oz. coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Add a few sprigs of basil and cilantro, juice of 2 limes and salt to taste. Simmer for 3 to 4 more minutes. Strain coconut milk and 1 cup of cooked tapioca and crab meat.

For corn: Clean corn from the cobs. Put corn cobs in a stock pot with enough cold water to cover. Simmer for 30 minutes to make corn stock and strain. In a large sauce pan, sweat 2 stalks sliced lemongrass, scallions, 4 lime leaves, 1 tsp. galangal and 1 tsp. chopped ginger. Add corn and continue to sweat. Add curry paste and 1 cup pistachios. Add corn stock and 12 oz. coconut milk. Season with salt to taste and simmer for 30 minutes. Blend in a high speed blender and strain.

For fish: Season with salt and pepper. Saute fish fillets until skin is crisp and flesh is cooked through.

For garnish: Lightly toast 1 cup pistachios in the oven.

To serve: Place 2 spoons of tapioca and crab in center of bowl. Sprinkle some pistachios on top. Place fish on tapioca. Garnish with leaves of basil and cilantro. Pour corn curry sauce around fish.

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