This popular Burmese salad is packed with traditional and refreshing flavours.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (20 votes)


  • 1 Asian red eschalot (see Note), thinly sliced, soaked in water for 10 minutes, drained
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 2 tsp finely crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp chickpea (besan) flour (see Note)
  • ½ cup coriander sprigs
  • 2 tsp fried Asian red eschalots (see Note)
  • 2 tsp tamarind dipping sauce

Nga phe (fish cakes)

  • 250 g firm white fish fillet, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Asian red eschalot (see Note), chopped
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Cook's notes

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.


To make fish cakes, place fish, ginger, garlic, turmeric and eschalot in a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Season with salt. Shape mixture into 8 x 5 cm-diameter rounds.

Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Working in batches, fry fish cakes, turning halfway, for 6 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Slice fish cakes in half horizontally, and place rounds in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients; tomato, peanut, besan flour, coriander, fried eschalots, and using your hands gently toss to combine before serving.


• Asian red eschalots and fried Asian red eschalots are from Asian food shops.
• Chickpea (besan) flour is from health food shops, Asian food shops and select supermarkets.



Photography Alan Benson


As seen in Feast magazine, February 2014, Issue 28.