Peter Kuruvita joins the Weekend team and shows readers how to make a Thai salad
Menu favourite great for the waistline and packed full of flavour
THIS dish has been a firm favourite in the bar at Noosa Beach House. We are changing the menu soon so here’s the recipe to make it at home.
Inspired by my many trips through Thailand, the salad has the perfect combination of aromatic crunchiness and spice to complement the smokiness of the ocean trout. You can serve it with betel leaves for a tasty canape or on its own. So simple to prepare, it’s the perfect dish to see out the end of the warm weather.
Smoked trout and Asian salad with nam jim
INGREDIENTS: Nam jim – 4 red bird’s eye chillies 4 garlic cloves, peeled 6 coriander roots, cleaned 50g palm sugar or brown sugar pinch of salt 1 kaffir lime leaf, centre vein removed, coarsely chopped 2cm piece lemongrass root, bruised and chopped 50ml strained lime juice 150ml fish sauce
Salad – 2 fresh long fresh red chillies, halved, seeded and cut into julienne 600g smoked ocean trout 2 red Asian shallots, thinly sliced 4 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal 1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways and thinly sliced on the diagonal ½ green papaw, peeled, seeded and cut into julienne (about 1 cup) 4 kaffir lime leaves centre veins removed, very thinly sliced ¼ cup picked mint leaves 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 small bunch coriander, leaves picked salt and pepper, to taste 12 betel leaves to serve (2 per serve), rinsed and stalks removed
METHOD: To make the nam jim dressing, place all the ingredients except the lime juice and fish sauce in a mortar and pestle and pound until a smooth paste forms. Add the lime juice, then season with fish sauce. The dressing should have a balance of salty, sour, sweet and hot. Balance the flavour with the sugar, fish sauce or lime as necessary.
Hot-smoked ocean trout can be found in all supermarkets and seafood shops, usually in 150g serves. Gently pull apart the fish into flakes.
Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and add enough nam jim dressing to lightly coat.
Gently toss through the flaked fish, then serve the salad in a bowl with the betel leaves and any remaining dressing on the side for guests to help themselves.
Peter Kuruvita's smoked ocean trout and Asian salad with nam jim.