Midnight Bluegill Curry Chef

Dark out, slipping across the yard. Light dusting of snow on the porch. Four bluegills, quickly cleaned and scaled at the end of my yard, overlooking the Mississippi.

Half an hour later, a pungent aroma rises from the kitchen, just beyond the porch, where the bucket remains. (I'll wash that out tomorrow.)

This bluegill curry was designed for opakapaka — the pink snapper. It's a Thai dish and an acquired taste. Pretty darn hot. Works nicely with bluegills, which are rolled in tapioca starch and deep fried while you prepare the sauce in a skillet. Heat the skillet with three tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter, Indian style), and add 3 tablespoons of red curry paste. Red curry paste is readily available in grocery stores around here, so most people can probably find it. We make our own curries and curry pastes, and you can find many recipes for those on the net.

Stir fry the curry paste for about 3 minutes at medium high and add a cup of coconut milk. Mix thoroughly,  add a couple tablespoons of Vietnamese fish sauce, stir, and turn the heat down. Simmer the sauce gently for 3 minutes or so while chopping a bed of cabbage. Spread it on a serving platter and place the fried bluegills on top. Add 20 leaves of fresh Thai basil to the sauce. If you can't find one of the many varieties of Thai basil, sweet basil will do (but it's not as good!).

Stir the basil into the sauce for only a minute, and pour the sauce over the fish. Including the time it takes to clean the gills, this dish takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and cook — if you have some homemade ghee in the fridge and a can or jar of curry paste handy. Perfect for the slippery midnight bluegill chef who comes home late, smelling fishy. Just announce beforehand that dinner's on you and nobody should worry until 6 pm.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


Pecan-Crusted Catfish Fillets Recipe

By: Emilie Bailey

This is not your run-of-the-mill fish recipe! Buttery, savory pecans are seasoned up to make...


Rigging Soft Bass Baits Correctly

Matt Straw - May 15, 2018

Balance is the goal when tipping jigs with trailers.

Boats & Motors

Technical Notes: Calculating Prop Performance

In-Fisherman - May 01, 2019

In-Fisherman Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

Softbaits for Smallmouths

Doug Stange uses softbaits from Berkley to entice finicky smallmouth bass.

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Other Fish

Must-Have Striped Bass Tackle

Rick Bach - May 04, 2017

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you...

Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

See More Stories

More Panfish


Strategies for Shallow Panfish

Dan Johnson - March 06, 2018

Nothing against the deep bite, but I'd rather fish for shallow panfish any day, especially...


Softbait Hacks for Hardwater Panfish

Cory Schmidt - February 27, 2019

Bites are one thing, but bites alone don't get it done.


Bluegill Management Strategies

Dr. Hal Schramm - March 12, 2018

Until a few years ago, the management strategy for good bluegill fishing—meaning good...

See More Panfish

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.