Fish cloud with green mango salad (Yum pla foo) Recipe

  • 500g/1lb 2oz hake or pollock fillets
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • pinch white pepper
  • 1 thin slice of galangal
  • pinch of kaffir lime zest
  • 2 coriander root (not stalk)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 bird's-eye red chillies
  • 1 long red chilli
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 mandarin, juice only
  • 1 green mango, peeled, stone removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Thai shallots, peeled and chopped
  • large pinch sliced lemongrass
  • pinch finely sliced Kaffir lime leaves
  • large pinch chopped mint leaves
  • large pinch chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts, with skin on
  1. For the fish clouds, preheat the grill to medium and preheat the oven to 100C/80C Fan/Gas 1.
  2. Rub the fish fillets generously with fish sauce, sprinkle with sugar and a small pinch of pepper. Grill for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. Remove the skin and crumble the cooked fish over an oven tray. Bake, fluffing and turning regularly, until fluffy and somewhat dried. This will take around 1 hour.
  4. Pulse the fish in a food processor until quite fine.
  5. Preheat a deep-fat fryer to 170C (CAUTION: do not leave unattended. Hot oil can be dangerous). Deep-fry handfuls of the fish, using a slotted spoon to pull them together into four clouds (you might need to do this in batches). Cook until golden-brown in colour, this will take 1 minute. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm until ready to serve.
  6. For the dressing, pound the galangal and kaffir zest in a pestle and mortar, then add the coriander root, garlic cloves, chillies and lime juice. Continue to pound then mix in the sugar, fish sauce and mandarin juice. It should taste hot, sour, sweet and salty. To check the balance is correct, taste it with the green mango (for the salad) and tweak the ingredients if necessary.
  7. For the salad, mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with the dressing.
  8. To serve, in four bowls, break a fish cloud in half and stack it on top of itself. Place some dressed salad over the fish cloud. Pour any remaining dressing into the bottom of the bowls.