Spicy Catfish Salad
1 pound catfish fillet
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, plus more for brushing
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons chile powder
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup sliced ginger
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped dill
Roasted rice powder (store-bought or homemade for which you’ll need about 1/2 cup white rice, preferably Thai rice)
Chile peppers, green beans, lime, tomatoes, roasted peanuts for serving.
Light a grill and oil the grates. Using a sharp knife, cut 3 shallow slits on each side of the fish and brush with fish sauce; grill over moderate heat, turning once, until white throughout, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish to a baking sheet and let cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the lime juice with the brown sugar, chile powder and the 3 tablespoons of fish sauce.
Make the roasted rice powder if you don’t have the store-bought version by setting a skillet over medium-low heat then adding the rice and stirring and shaking every few seconds to make sure the grains are evenly toasted. After 10 minutes or so, the grains will turn medium brown. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the rice cool completely. Once the rice has cooled, grind it in a mortar or a coffee grinder until a fine powder is achieved.
Pinch the catfish meat into small pieces and transfer to a bowl with the shallots, scallions, chopped cilantro, mint, ginger, and dill. Sprinkle roasted nuts. Add the lime dressing and toss well.
Transfer the salad to a platter and sprinkle with roasted rice powder. Serve with vegetables, herbs and lime wedges and pass any remaining roasted rice powder at the table.
Makes 4 servings
Sarin with husband, Bernie and daughter, Garnet, the happy recipients of her cooking.
There are two things that characterize Sarin — her laughter and her food. Sarin is passionate about food, especially Thai food, and she cooks and teaches cooking traditional Thai with her own twist. Sarin also loves being a wife and mother.