The following recipe is from the March 14 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!
This Crispy Fish and Green Mango Salad from Bangkok Street Food is a dish that you'll most likely never seen on the menu of your local Thai joint. And it's quite a shame since this intriguing combo of crisp-smoky fried fish served with salty-spicy green mango salad is pretty outrageous. The layers of texture and flavor are all over the place in the best possible way, with the sour dressing working its way into the crunchy little fish cake and the mango salad tying it all together with crunchy veggies and punchy heat.
- For the Crispy Fish:
- 1 whole catfish, sea bass or sea bream
- 1 smoked trout
- 1 large pinch of salt
- Oil for deep-frying
- For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 to 4 small chiles, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- For the Green Mango Salad
- 1 small green mango
- 2 shallots, sliced finely
- 1 handful of roasted or deep-fried peanuts
- 1 handful of mint leaves
- 1 handful of coriander leaves
- 2 deep-fried dried large chillies (optional, for garnishing)
Clean the fish (scaled, eviscerated and washed), pat dry with paper towel.
Roast in the oven (375°F) on a rack until quite dry. Leave to cool.
Remove bones and any hard bits. Blend with trout and salt in a food processor until the mixture is that of breadcrumbs. Pulse until the mixture has just the right texture. Too fine, and it will not cluster when it fries; too coarse, and it will harden too much.
Bring plenty of oil in a wok to medium-high temperature. The right temperature is important. Try a first batch and adjust the heat if necessary. Too hot, the fish will burn; too cool and the collagen in the fish will not cook fast enough to hold the fish together.
Deep-fry a handful at a time. After the foaming stops, mold the fish together by pushing the fish crumbs towards each other. Let the collagen do the work and you will see that it forms a cluster, a fish cake. When it smells cooked, flip over until golden in color. Remove and drain. Give the oil some time to reheat and repeat this process.
For the dressing, combine the lime juice, chiles, fish sauce, and sugar.
Peel the mango and shred finely. Combine the shallots, mango, peanuts, mint, and coriander. Add the fish cake and large chiles when using. Pour over the dressing and serve immediately.