Neil Perry’s Stir-Fried Blue Eye with Snake Beans

Serves: 4

Another cracking dried curry – which I love – and one from Neil Perry’s book Balance and Harmony: cooked by Nat no less as part of a long Covid lockdown lunch.

I appreciate that pastes can be painful on first inspection though take the time. This is how we make the food that we love, right?

Dried shrimp and shrimp paste are easily gettable and the rest is mainstream.

Enjoy. (I certainly did with a side-bowl of steamed white rice.)


300gm blue eye fillet, cut into bite sized pieces
8 snake beans, cut into 3cm pieces
100ml vegetable oil
2 tbsp grated palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp dried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

Spice Paste

1/2 tsp white peppercorns
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 dried long red chillies, deseeded, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and chopped
1 tsp sea salt
3 red shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp finely chopped galangal
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer leaves removed, chopped
6 coriander roots, scraped and chopped
1 tsp Thai shrimp paste, wrapped in foil and roasted until fragrant


  1. To make the spice paste, lightly roast the peppercorns, fennel and cumin seeds in a dry heavy-based pan until very fragrant and dark, then grind to a powder in a spice grinder. The pound all the past ingredients in a mortar and pestle until you have a fine paste. (Or use a blender, adding a little water if necessary.)
  2. Boil the beans until tender, then drain and refresh in iced water.
  3. Heat a wok until smoking. Add half the oil and, when hot, stir-fry the blue eye in batches until golden, then remove. Add the remaining oil to the pan and stir fry the spice paste until fragrant, then add the palm sugar, fish sauce, beans and shrimp and toss together. Return the blue eye to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Blue-eye baked in a bag

Serves: 4

I love fish baked in a bag.

Easy, full of flavour, fun and generally, really healthy.

This particular number from Tobie Puttock is especially good. As far as weekday dinners go, it is a complete win. (A 240 calories per-serve win.)

We served this with steamed beans and twice cooked and roasted baby potatoes: steam your potatoes, lay them flat on a baking-paper lined tray and half-flatten them with a large spoon, drizzle with olive oil, season and cook until golden.

You will enjoy.


4 blue-eye cod fillets or similar (we used ling)
100ml white wine
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Long strips of the zest of 1 lemon
2 birdseye chillis, cut in half and partially seeded
Small handful of dill sprigs
Sea salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Tear off 4 pieces of foil, about 30cm long, then 4 pieces of baking paper, 25cm long. Lay the baking paper on-top of the foil. Fold and crease into wells with walls all around to hold the fish and liquid.
  3. Combine the wine, olive oil, lemon zest, dill, chilli and a good pinch of salt and peppe. Stir to combine and then carefully add the fish fillets and turn them to coat with the marinade.
  4. Place a fish fillet into each well; share the dill, chilli, lemon zest and remaining liquid with each fillet. Close and seal the foil bags.
  5. Place the bags on a baking dish and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Let sit for a few minutes, transfer the bags to serving plates and open carefully at the table.