This recipe may look complex but it’s actually pretty easy, the only tricky bit might be finding the green mango.
The fish should be really crispy and a bit salty, the salad hot and sour.
It works with various types of fish; something like seabass, brill or bream would work well, as would salmon. It will serve two, or four as part of a Thai meal.
200g fish fillet, with skin, checked for small bones
A handful of of plain cashew nuts, toasted in a low oven or shallow fried until golden
4 sticks of lemon grass, though outer layers removed
3-4 Thai shallots, peeled (substitute 2 normal shallots if you cant find Thai)
1 clove of garlic
1 green (hard and unripe) mango
A small bunch of coriander (with the roots attached)
A small bunch of mint
Juice of 2 or 3 limes
1-4 bird’s eye chillies (depending on how hot you like it)
Small tsp of white caster sugar (it works better than palm sugar for this kind of dressing)
Pinch of maldon, or other coarse sea salt
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1-2 tsp fish sauce
5 tbsp plain oil to shallow fry
First make your dressing: pound the garlic clove, two cleaned coriander roots (or some stalk if you don’t have roots) and your chillies with a pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar until quite fine. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar then whizz up in a blender.
Now add the juice from the two limes (three if they’re not very juicy).
Next mix in the sugar, and finally add the fish sauce. Have a taste and adjust if needed (it should be hot, sour plus a bit sweet and salty).
Now peel your green mango and julienne with a knife (or use a mandolin, but watch your fingers). Thinly slice the shallots and the lemongrass. Pick the leaves from the herbs.
Now fry the fish: toss the fillet in the light soy sauce then shallow fry skin side down in a wok (or pan) with your five tablespoons of oil on a high heat (preheat the oil before adding the fish!). After about three minutes carefully flip the fish over to cook evenly. Another minute and the fish should be really crispy on the outside, cooked in the middle. Take it out of the oil and on to kitchen paper.
To serve: break the crispy fish into bite sized chunks and toss with all the ingredients in a bowl, add all the dressing (it should be slightly wet), mix again and serve.