food for thought

by michelle

fish larb + cucumber salad

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Having finally banished the local wildlife from our garden, our fresh produce is thriving.


Thai holy basil and kaffir lime leaves are both so deliciously fragrant that I was inspired to create a Thai fish salad. And for a refreshing accompaniment a fresh cucumber salad. I served both with coconut rice.


I used rock ling for this salad but any firm white fish would be good. First flavour 680g (1½ lbs) of fish fillets with 1 tablespoon of Thai fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of finely minced fresh lemongrass and a grated knob of ginger. Using a little oil cook the fish on a barbecue (under a grill or in a pan would work too) until just cooked. Set aside and allow to cool. Meanwhile slice ½ a cup each of Thai holy basil leaves and coriander (cilantro) and put them in a bowl. Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, any coriander roots (finely minced), 2-3 finely minced kaffir lime leaves and 3-4 finely sliced spring onions. In a dry pan toast ½ a cup of jasmine rice until it is a pale brown and remove to a mortar and pestle. Grind the rice until it is the consistency of flour. If you don’t have a heavy mortar and pestle you could do this in an electric grinder or even try carefully toasting some rice flour. When the fish is cool, tear it into flakes and add it to the bowl along with the ground rice, the juice of 1 large or 2 small limes and 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce, according to taste.

To keep the cucumbers tasting fresh I combined this salad just before serving.


Chop ½ a cup of fresh mint and crush ½ a cup of roasted peanuts and set them aside. For the dressing combine the juice of 1 large or 2 small limes, 1½ tablespoons of Thai fish sauce, 1½ tablespoons of sugar, freshly ground black pepper to taste, 1 large crushed clove of garlic and ½ a teaspoon of green tabasco or a similar green chilli sauce. Cut 3-4 small lebanese cucumbers into chunks and combine with the mint, peanuts and dressing.


Written by michelle picker

March 12, 2014 at 6:17 am

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