Blue Apron Review: Crispy Catfish with Yellow Curry and Bird’s Eye Chile Sauce

Mmmmm I love curry, I was so looking forward to this dinner! I was tasked with the catfish dish this week because last time partner made a catfish Blue Apron meal he claimed it was “nerve-wracking,” so I took point on this fishy recipe.

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Sorry I did a shit job of putting things on the table, but can you spot the chili?

This recipe is pretty straight forward, it’s delightfully browned catfish with a thick curry served over lime rice with a spicy ponzu sauce.

First, the chili they gave us WAS SO TINY! Not including the stem, the chili wasn’t much longer than my fingernail – and I have pretty tiny hands. We like the heat in this house, so I really wish they gave us a bigger Bird’s Eye Chili.

I also had some mixed feelings about using powdered coconut milk. I should have just scrapped it and used the coconut milk I had on hand, but that’s not how most people experience this recipe. Also, I would have ended up with a 1/4 cup of powdered coconut milk and nothing to use it on. The end result: it made the curry SUUUUUUUPER thick and was incredibly difficult to get the powder to fully incorporate into the water. I did not achieve success there, I still had a few lumps after whisking it FOREVER. I kept going back to it, trying to get the chunks out with no success.

This recipe did make me realize I need to use rice flour to coat my pan fried foods more often – its light, doesn’t get lumpy as easily as regular flour and still gives a delightful crisp.

My biggest gripe with this was the curry! My curry was basically a gelatinous kale blob. I cooked it for less time than it called for, as well as used more liquid… I’m blaming that damn coconut milk powder #neveragain

A tasty surprise and best part was the side that didn’t make it into the title: lime rice. It isn’t lime juice rice, but lime zest rice, with a pinch of salt. It was SO GOOD and I think I’ll use this as as my main type of rice to serve with curries as most South Asian curries are served with lime and this rice just adds a bit of a citrus kick.

Side-note: I’ve never cooked catfish outside of a Blue Apron recipe. My mom and brother hate catfish because of the “distinct” flavor, but I haven’t had a recipe yet that makes me balk at finishing the fish. In this case, we served the ponzu sauce over the fish, and BOOM a little chili pepper, salt and the fishy, funky flavor is controlled!

As usual, the serving size was a bit larger than necessary, less rice would fix that. The amount of curry the recipe yielded was smaller than anticipated, so there was some extra rice that was left un-curried.

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Forgot to take a proper meal photo, but see what I mean…the curry is weird and chunky and there is too much rice!

Get the recipe and instructions here. All the Blue Apron recipes are on their site.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Have you made this recipe before? Let me know what issues you ran into while making it – or if you’ve solved any of mine!

This post was not endorsed by Blue Apron in any way, I’m just a big fan!

How Does Full Circle Work?

Hello, I am here to introduce you to Full Circle, the service I use to get my fruits and veggies delivered every Friday. Since I do Whole30 every once in a while, this makes it *that* much easier to make sure you always have fruits and veggies at home.

 

“So it’s a CSA box?”

Technically no, but what they’re doing is pretty great, super convenient and not dissimilar.

Since Full Circle sources their food from western states, it is a little bigger than “Community Sourced Agriculture.” Most CSA boxes you pick up at your local farmer’s market, from the actual farmer! Since I live a wild and unpredictable life (lies), and spend a lot of weekends out of town (not lies), subscribing to a CSA box can get tricky, since you usually pick up on Saturday or Sunday.

Full Circle delivers to my area once a week, which is on Friday. I wake up and head to the front of my apartment building to pick up a handy dandy insulated bag.

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Kitty likes Full Circle, too!

I get a notification on Wednesday what will be in my bag the following week (not the one I get in 2 days), where you get to swap out items you might dislike or already have in your pantry. The swappable items is a drop down menu that includes seasonal produce from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, and British Columbia. I haven’t seen any items from outside those area, but I’m sure some fish come from Alaska as well (more on this is a minute).

You can swap items in your bag until Monday, but I need to do it on Wednesday in order to remember to *actually* do it, so I swap items 10 days before I even get my bag. I always forget what’s coming, but that is part of the fun for me!

 

“What about other stuff besides vegetables?”

You can also add items to your bag from the Full Circle online grocery store full of local products, from artisan candies and bread to humanely raised meats. These aren’t included in your subscription price, but you could feasibly do all your grocery shopping through Full Circle. If you hate grocery shopping (like my SO), it might be worth trying, however, I LOVE grocery shopping, so I’ll pick up proteins + kitchen staples at the store still, but it makes my trips much faster.

When your bag is delivered, included is a nifty little sheet that tells you all the food in the bag with all the farm information included. Sometimes, you don’t get what you originally ordered. For instance, when you originally chekced, the bag said it included red potatoes, but they ran out of red potatoes.

Dang it, I love red potatoes.

So they’ll smack a little sticker on that sheet, letting you know they gave you yellow potatoes instead. In my experience, the swaps have never been difficult to use, and they try to stick to the same general product (a different type of apple, potato, kale, etc).

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Look ma, no swaps!

Also see that little “Exemptions” section? You can permanently select things to exempt from your bag. When I first started getting Full Circle, I didn’t have broccoli as an exempt item and I got it too frequently for someone who doesn’t really like broccoli, so I added it to the short list. I never want Brussels Sprouts. Ever. I still haven’t gotten them, thank goodness.

“What does it cost? Why does that not seem like a lot of food?”

They have three different sizes, I get the “Seed” size, or the smallest bag since I’m usually only feeding two people, and it’s $25/week. Sometimes, even that is hard to go through for us. From last week’s bag I still have beets and their now wilted greens sadly sitting in my fridge and I still don’t have a plan for them. Plus we get Blue Apron delivered weekly as well, which takes care of 3 meals a week. The other sizes are Sprout ($30, serves 2 people), Garden ($40, serves 3-4 people) and Harvest ($50, serves 5-6 people).

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I also do most of my meal planning/prep over the weekend (Sunday night), so it gets the food to me JUST in time.

Sometimes you’ll receive foods that you’ve never used before. Since it is currently mid-autumn, persimmons are included in my bag next week. I’ve never eaten a persimmon let alone cooked with one, so it’ll be adventure time in my kitchen! I actually nixed potatoes and swapped them for a second order of persimmons, since I didn’t want to get stuck with too few persimmons for a tasty tart recipe I found. However, if you don’t want to deal with an unfamiliar ingredient, you can always swap it out. This is a “choose your own adventure” service, which is super nice!

“Where do I sign up?”

Full Circle delivers to Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Find out more info on becoming a member.

As I find them or people shout them out, I’ll make a list of similar programs here. If you can’t get Full Circle, it is always worth finding a CSA near you! Support your local farmers, I promise they’re super friendly and the produce is so much better than your typical grocery store.

I wrote this post without any endorsements from Full Circle, I’m just a big fan!