Thai Curry Crusted Branzino with Charred Peanuts

We had a jar of Thai Red Curry paste in our fridge from our Thai Pumpkin Curry night a little while back, so we figured it was time to use that as a featured ingredient (and to clear out the fridge). However, this time, we wanted to use it in a different way than last time, so we decided to think out of the “stir fry box,” and instead use the paste as a topping for broiled fish! Originally, we planned to use red snapper…but it was more than double the price of other fish that looked pretty fresh, so we changed the plan. That’s how Branzino entered the picture. That said, this recipe will work with any mild white fish fillet you have at your disposal.

We served this with Sesame Bok Choy and Red Peppers, but it would also go well with jasmine rice or even ginger and garlic infused mashed potatoes.

Time: 20 Minutes


  • Branzino Fillets. You can swap this out for any mildly flavoured white fish fillet though.
  • Thai Red Curry Paste (from a jar or make your own)
  • Peanuts


  • Set your broiler to low, and line a broiler pan with foil. Give the foil a quick oil spray.
  • Pat your fillets dry, and place them skin side down on your broiler pan.
  • Scoop your red curry paste out of the jar, and plop it on the fish.
  • Spread the curry paste thinly with a spatula as though you are “painting” it on. (Go thinner than what’s in the pictures. We wanted to finish the jar, but the thick layer was a little salty.)
  • Put your fish under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Crush some peanuts in a coffee grinder, with a mortar and pestle, or by putting them in a plastic zip top bag (not fully sealed) and having at them with a meat tenderizer (this is the most cathartic method).
  • After the initial broil, take your fish out, and place your peanuts atop your fish.
  • Put everything back under the broiler for another 3-5 minutes (until your fish is flaky and turns a white colour, and your peanuts begin to char). You want to make sure your fish is cooked to at least 145 degrees F before you take it out.
  • When everything is cooked, remove from the broiler.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!


  1. Good idea! Branzino is Wolfsbarsch in German and is one of my favorite fishes to eat. Another favorite would be Dorade or Dorade royale, which is sea bream in English.

    1. Now you’ve made us curious! What are some of your favorite ways to cook Wolfsbarsch? We would love to try a German style preparation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dorade here, so I will have to keep my eyes out for it!

  2. I don’t know if there is a typical German way to cook it (it is essentially a fish you will find in all countries along the Mediterranian Sea. My favorite preparations are Italian variations I learned from 2 cooks in my favorite Italian restaurant. Usually I buy a whole fish and stuff rosemary and thyme in the belly cavity. Then I’ll put it into a hot oven with roughly 200 cl (1 glass of dry wine – Riesling/Pinot Blanc/Chardonnay) added to the form.
    Another way is to herb it and wrap it in a kind of parchment paper. You need to make the paper steam proof by stapling the folds shut. Add some fluid (wine) before you seal the package and steam it for roughly 30 minutes in the oven (Italians call this method ‘en cartoccio’ and it basically steams the fish. You can add the vegetables but you might have to blanch some of the tougher vegetables). Besure you throw a splash of good olive oil over both variations – it will enhance the italian/southern french/ spanish experience…
    Btw Germans really like fish breaded and deep fried. Nothing wrong with that, but someone told me once that if God had wanted that, they would come that way. I’m being a little unfair: Trout, the most popular fish in southern Germany is either poached/steamed(Forelle Blau) or fried with an almond crust (Müllerin Art). In Northern Germany the iconic fish is Scholle (plaice in English, looks a little like sole but is broader and cheaper). On of the favorite ways to prepare it is to fry it in oil and add bacon lardons and serve it with fried potatoes and a nice salad. Hopefully this gives you food for thought for a little while 🙂

    1. I will definitely have to try those methods for Branzino…I can’t say I’ve ever baked fish in parchment paper, but now, I am going to have to! And as for the trout, we have a few fillets in the freezer, and I am intrigued by your Forelle Blau and Müllerin Art suggestions! Thank you for sharing!

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