Hot-smoked Salmon and Smoked Fish Salad
Choose nice plump freshly-smoked fish for this dish. The fish can be flaked ahead and kept covered and refrigerated, but do the rest of the preperation just prior to serving. Serves 6
- half a side of plump smoked fish
- 200g hot-smoked salmon
- 3 juicy limes
- 2 perfectly ripe avocados
- 1 medium-hot red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds first for a milder chilli hit)
- flaky sea salt
- 100g rocket leaves, trimmed
- small bunch coriander, broken into sprigs
- small bunch Thai basil if available
Remove skin from smoked fish, discard bones and flake fish. Transfer fish to a platter. Remove and discard skin from salmon, mop salmon with paper towels and break into large flakes letting it fall on top of the smoked fish. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over fish.
Cut avocados in half, remove stones and skin and slice flesh. Squeeze juice of 1 lime over avocado and sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer to plate of smoked fish. Scatter with chopped chilli and add rocket leaves, coriander and Thai basil if using.
Gently toss together. Spoon onto plates. Cut remaining lime into wedges and add a piece to each plate. Serve immediately.
Thai basil is more pungent than regular sweet basil with a pronounced liquorice taste. It leaves the breath fresh and slightly sweet. The smell of the crushed leaves is a mix of lime, cinnamon, rubber and cloves. It’s used in salads and cooked dishes. The stems of the plant are green, becoming purple towards the tips and it sports attractive edible purple, mauve or white flowers.
It’s an easy herb to grow. Put a thick stem in cold water and leave in a cool place for a few days until it starts to show signs of small white roots. Transfer it to a pot of soil and place it in a semi-shaded place. Water regularly, although it is fairly hardy.
Vietnamese mint smells similar to Thai basil but it is far more pungent with a hot bite and slight numbing character and a strong alkalinity. Also known as hot mint, it is the leaf to use in Malaysian laksa soups, and is often simply known as laksa leaf. It’s also used as a salad ingredient, and cooked dishes. The pointed leaves are often marked with burgundy or purple-brown coloured smudges near the leaf base.
It’s easy to grow and is best kept contained in a pot. Start it off as described above in Thai Basil. It will dry out and whither if it is not kept watered.