Trey Trung Kroeung (Lemongrass Enrobed Catfish Fillets)

The Japones Chile (Capsicum Annuum) is similar in appearance to the De Arbol. Though the walls of the Japones are thicker. Dried Japones Chiles are medium hot and good with Asian dishes. On the heat scale, this chile is 5-6. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 35,000.

Suggested Use:
Japones Chiles are medium hot and frequently found in spicier Asian and Oriental dishes. Used in Thai Basil Curry dishes and Hot Peanut Sauces. Crush a few pods and add them to your next stir fry.

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Lemongrass Paste:

3 dried New Mexico chiles, stems and seeds removed
1 Tbsp. lemongrass, minced
3 cloves of garlic
2 medium shallots
4 dried japones chiles
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 Tbsp. fresh peeled and chopped ginger
pinch of tumeric
1/2 cup water


4 (8 oz.) catfish fillets
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar


4 kaffir lime leaves, very finely julienned


1. Soak the New Mexican chiles in a pot of very hot water to soften. Allow the chiles to sit for 15 minutes, then remove them and drain.

2. Place all the paste ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

3. Pan fry the catfish in the oil over high heat until the fish is firm, but not browned, turning once.

4. Using a separate pan, cook the paste over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the aroma is released.

5. Add the coconut milk, salt and sugar.

6. Add the fish to the sauce and cook 5 minutes longer.

7. If the paste is too thick, add some more water until the desired consistency is achieved.

8. Serve the catfish with jasmine rice and the kaffir lime leaves.

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