Fish Salad with Lemon Grass, Chilli and Lime
- 500g trout or white fleshed freshwater, fish, such as barramundi, cleaned
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- vegetable oil
- 1 lemon grass stalk, tender part only, cut in 6cm lengths and shredded finely
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded very finely
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup Thai basil leaves
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted ground rice*
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 mild red chillies, seeded and shredded finely
Season the fish well with salt and pepper, put on a plate and steam for 8 minutes over simmering water. Set aside to cool. When cool, flake the flesh into a large bowl, discarding the bones and skin. In a wok, heat a tablespoon of oil until hot but not smoking. Fry the lemon grass and lime leaves until softened, then remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
Add three or four tablespoons of oil to the wok and when hot, fry the garlic until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel. Fry the eschalots until crisp, then drain. Add the fried ingredients to the fish with the basil and coriander. Stir the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, ground rice and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. Taste and add more fish sauce if necessary. Add to the salad ingredients and toss lightly. Divide between bowls and scatter with shredded chillies and a little more toasted ground rice to serve.
*Toast four tablespoons of uncooked rice in a hot pan until golden brown, stirring constantly. Cool, then process to a powder in an electric spice mill.