Note this is part 1 of a two part dinner recipe: this curry is *hot*, as
 a complement to it I suggest the Kai Yang Isan recipe that I will also
 post.
 
 This is a curry that is best if you have an angler in the family. You
 can probably prepare it with anything that you catch that doesn't eat
 you before you get it on the plate. I particularly like it done with
 catfish. If you don't have access to fresh caught fish, you can use any
 shop bought fish. Mackerel is a good staple.
 
 The quantities are of course a matter of choice. The quantities of
 shallots (purple onions), garlic and sliced prik ki nu are according to
 my wife “a handful of each” - this equates to almost exactly half a cup,
 so that is what I have put in the details.
 
 Prik ki nu (literally “mousedropping chilies”), also known as birdseye
 chilies or dynamite chilies, are small green, and quite explosive. The
 usual cautions apply to handling them then rubbing your eyes... Cook
 books often suggest throwing away the seeds, but this is not usually
 done in Thailand. Instead when you slice them any seeds that escape from
 the pile may be discarded, but don't go to any particular lengths to
 separate out the seeds.
 
 Take about a pound of filleted fish. If using mackerel discard the head
 and tail, cut the fish in half along its belly, discard the backbone. If
 using catfish just chop it into chunks, and warn the diners about the
 bones... :-)
 
 In a blender or food processor, place a cup of water, a quarter cup of
 fish sauce, half a cup of chopped shallots, half a cup of crush garlic,
 and half a cup of thinly sliced prik ki nu, together with about 2
 tablespoons of fermented shrimp paste that has been briefly fried to
 bring out the aroma. Blend to a coarse paste, and add to 4 cups of water
 in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the fish, 2 tablespoons of palm
 sugar, a third of a cup of tamarind juice, half a cup of sliced long
 beans (the Thai version is about a metre long, but the “European”
 version will do...) and half a cup of sliced bamboo shoots. Bring to a
 boil, reduce the heat until it is just boiling and cook until the fish
 is cooked (about 5 minutes).
 
  
  Serve over Thai Jasmine rice.
 
 ---
 
 Footnote: you can add chilies at the table but you can't take them out
 once the dish is cooked. Thais regularly offer five standard condiments
 (prik phom, or chili powder, sugar, chilies in vinegar, chilies in fish
 sauce, and ground peanuts). You also sometimes see chilies in sweet dark
 soy sauce, fish sauce, dark soy and oyster sauce on the table. Feel free
 to add whatever you fancy to the dish.
 
 This dish is *meant* to be hot, but it isn't meant to eat the glaze off
 the plate, so be sensible the first time you try it (I recall a cooking
 show in Australia recommending half a birdseye chili per person: on that
 basis this dish has enough chilies to kill an average Australian family
 it would appear (though I don't believe it, so don't flame me, mail
 Channel 7))
 
 Thais usually have several dishes, that complement each other. A good
 complement to a hot dish like this is our relatively benign kai yang
 isan. (which I will post next).