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December 24, 2005

tis the season to indulge...

Posted by dogpossum on December 24, 2005 12:01 PM in the category

I used to make this amazing fish salad in Brisbane, and hadn't made it in FIVE years til last night. It uses a lot of South-East Asian fresh herbs (which can be harder to grow here in Melbourne), and involves a bit of preparation. It is WORTH the wait - and must be eaten on the day immediately as it doesn't keep so well. Note the dressing ingredients: that is some seriously awesome shit.

Most people shudder at the thought of smoked cod, but this is not your ordinary mashed potatoes and white sauce cod dish. It's faaaancy. We made it with many herbs from our garden, which only added to the lovely freshness of the dish.

Fish and Herb Salad
(serves 4-6)

500g (1 lb) smoked cod
3 tbsps lime juice
1/2 cup (30g/1oz) flaked cocount
1 cup (200g/6 1/2 oz) jasmine rice, cooked and cooled.
1/2 cup (25g/ 3/4 oz) hcopped fresh Vietnamese mint
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup (25g/ 3/4 oz) chopped fresh coriander leaves
8 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander root
2cm (3/4inch) piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped lemon grass (white part only)
3 tbsp chopped fresh Thai basil
1 avocado, chopped
1/3 cup (80ml/2 3/4 fl oz) lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1/2 cup (125ml/4 fl oz) peanut oil (i use macadamia oil because it's AMAZING)

1. Place the cod in a large frying pan and cover with water. Add the lime juice and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes when tested with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool slightly before removing all skin and bones and breaking into bite-sized pieces.

2. Dry fry the coconut in a frying pan until golden. Discard if burns. Remove from pan and cool.

3. Place the coconut, rice, fish, Vietnamese mint, mint, coriander and kaffir lime leaves in a large bowl and mix to combine.

4. To make Dressing: place the coriander root, ginger, chilli, lemon grass and basil in a food processor and process until combined. Add the avocado, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and oil and process until creamy. (we don't process this as we can't face the washing up, but it would be good to get the herbs smooth in a dish that is eventually (as The Squeeze declared), 'rice with leaves').

5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat the rice and fish (I usually do this part by hand to avoid smashing the fish). Serve immediately.

Posted by dogpossum on December 24, 2005 12:01 PM in the category