Skill level

Average: 3.3 (14 votes)


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 small onion, cut into wedges 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 
  • 2 red Asian shallots, finely sliced 
  • 1 cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely sliced 
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp with the seeds (not tamarind purée) 
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes 
  • 500 g whole white-fleshed fish (such as snapper), cut into fillets, finely sliced, reserving the bones for the broth 
  • 1 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts 
  • 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 litre young coconut juice 
  •  1 bruised lemongrass stem 
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • 16 butter lettuce leaves 
  • 7 Chinese cabbage leaves, finely sliced 
  • 1 large handful mint leaves 
  • 4 spring onions, cut into 3cm lengths 
  • 1 large handful coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped 
  • 1 large handful water spinach, torn into 3 cm lengths

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.


Start by making the broth. Add the vegetable oil to a hot wok, then sauté the onion, garlic, shallots and ginger until browned.

Stir in the tamarind pulp and chilli flakes. Add the reserved fish bones and toss to coat them well.

Add the peanuts, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, coconut juice, lemongrass, lime juice, half the beaten egg and a pinch of sea salt. Add the fish bones and simmer for 15 minutes.

On a separate plate, mix the sliced fish fillets with the pepper and the remaining egg.

Take one lettuce leaf and place a little cabbage, mint, spring onion, coriander, water spinach and a few fish slices on top. Wrap the lettuce up around the filling, and then secure the ends with a bamboo skewer. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, securing each parcel with a bamboo skewer.

Cook the fish parcels in the simmering broth for 1 minute, then enjoy straight away.