This is an unbeatable salad combination of Thai tastes, c/o Jill Duplex, a wonderful Australian cookery book writer. The flavors in this dish are chilli, cilantro, mint, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce, all perfect for a piece of delicate, rich salmon.
A really innovative, tasty, complex salad dish for either a main course or a starter.
4 thick salmon fillets, skinned (choose wild salmon, if possible)
200 grams bean sprouts
2 tbsps vegetable oil
50 grams fresh mint leaves, left whole
25 grams cilantro leaves, left whole
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsps salted or dry roasted peanuts, crushed coarsely
1 lime, quartered
100 grams soft brown sugar
125 mls water
1 red chilli, finely sliced
3 cm knob of fresh ginger, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
4 tbsps Thai fish sauce
4 tbsps fresh lime juice
To make the sauce, use the ingredients in the “sauce” list only. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small pan and bring to the boil, stirring.
Add the chilli, ginger and garlic and let it bubble away to reduce (but do not boil over!) for 4 – 5 minutes until quite syrupy.
Remove from the heat and add the fish sauce and the lime juice.
Cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces, about 3cm square and coat lightly in the caramel sauce.
Pour a jug of boiling water over the bean sprouts then drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the salmon quickly until caramelized, keeping the inside pink.
Combine the salmon, mint, coriander, scallions and bean sprouts in a bowl and toss well.
Strain the sauce and keep warm, if necessary, reheat.
Arrange on warmed dinner plates, spoon the warm sauce over the top and scatter with peanuts.
Serve with the lime wedges and plenty of steamed rice.