Although most Thai recipes begin with a paste, the fish in this dish needs a dry spice rub to get that charred exterior. You can find good-quality Thai spice blends (a fiery mix of chilli powder, ginger, star anise, coriander, cayenne pepper, green peppercorns and cinnamon) in most supermarkets.
Nam jim is a tongue-tingling dipping sauce used in Thai cuisine, which is often served with grilled seafood. It provides that perfect balance of Thai flavours – sweet, sour, salty and spicy – that elevate any dish it’s served with.
- 4 200 g white fish fillets, such as cod
- 2 tsp Thai spice blend
- 3 tsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 250 g packets of ready-cooked basmati rice
- 1 cucumber, peeled into thin ribbons
- 3 baby gem lettuces, leaves torn
- 1 large mango, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped or sliced
- Small handful of coriander,
- roughly chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl and set aside.
2. Place a non-stick frying pan or griddle pan over a high heat. Coat the fish in the spices then drizzle with the oil. Cook for 3–4 minutes on each side until charred and just cooked through.
3. Heat the rice according to the packet instructions then tip into a bowl and add a third of the dressing. Stir through and allow to cool slightly.
4. In a bowl, mix the cucumber with the baby gem leaves, sliced mango and a little more dressing.
5. Serve the rice and the salad with the fish on top with the rest of the dressing to spoon over.