|Thai Style Trout with Nutty Noodle Salad|
Asian flavors and cooking methods are all the rage right now and it’s easy to see why. In a world overcome with salt and sugar, Asia is showing us a better way. Instead of bombarding you with artificial ingredients, Asian cuisine uses flavors derived from herbs, fruits, vegetables, fermented products and vinegar. This trout is beautiful example of how to use them.
Instead of frying it in a pan, I bake the trout in the oven. Instead of hiding the fish in a thick breading or batter, I emphasize its fatty richness using tamarind paste – a traditional ingredient in pad thai - and a little sweet chili sauce. Can’t find tamarind paste? NO PROBLEM! Try mixing some ketchup with lime juice and Worcestshire sauce to recreate that tangy flavor. I pair this fish with a cold rice noodle salad loaded with veggies and homemade pickles.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Medium-Easy
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 2 to 4
1 Trout Fillet – Trout is a great fish because it’s widely available in North America and a lot more budget-friendly and leaner than salmon. If you want to go extra fancy, feel free to use the salmon instead.
3 Heaping Tablespoons of Tamarind Paste
- OR –
2 ½ Tablespoons of Ketchup mixed with 1 Teaspoon of Lime Juice and 1 Teaspoon of Worcestshire Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Sweet Chili Sauce – This sauce is more sweet that spicy, but if you’re scared of spice, feel free to use honey instead.
½ Teaspoon of Soya Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Lemon Pepper – Optional
1 Teaspoon of Vegetable Oil
If ya wanna get Fancy – Sesame Seeds
1 Cup of Snow Peas, rinsed and the ends removed – snow peas have a stringy bit running along the outer edge that’s not easy to eat. Removing the ends will often get rid of the stringy bit too.
1 Pack of Rice Noodles – I used the wide ones, but use whatever looks good to you.
1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons of Vinegar
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter – If you can melt it in the microwave, do for 20 seconds. Can’t have peanut butter? Try sesame paste or almond butter instead.
1 English Cucumber, rinsed, cut lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 Cup of Pineapple – canned in chunks or crushed or frozen is fine.
1 Cup of White, Cane, or Rice Vinegar
4 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 Clove of Garlic, peeled and smashed
1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce – Optional
1 Tablespoon of Hot Sauce – Optional
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, rinsed
1 Baking Pan
1 Small Pot
1 Heat Proof Mixing Bowl
1 Regular Bowl
2 Mixing Spoon
1 Slotted Spoon
Measuring Cups and Spoons
1 Large Heat proof Plastic container
1 Pair of Tongs
Put the cucumber and pineapple in the container.
In the pot heat the vinegar and sugar, mixing until the sugar has dissolved.
Turn off the heat and mix in the hot sauce and fish sauce, if using.
Add the garlic and pour the hot vinegar mixture, garlic and all, over the cucumber and pineapple.
Close the container and stick in the fridge.
Fill your mixing bowl with hot water and add the rice noodles.
Leave the noodles to soak for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, rinse the pot you used to heat the vinegar and fill it with water.
Put it on the stove on high heat.
When the 15 minutes are up, drain the noodles and put them in your serving bowl with the peanut butter and vegetable oil and toss everything to coat.
Fill the mixing bowl used to soak the noodles with water and ice.
When the water on the stove is boiling, dump in the snow peas and leave them in the boiling for one minute.
Turn off the heat and using the tongs or slotted spoon, dump the snow peas into the ice water. This will stop the cooking process and allow them to keep a little of their crunchiness.
Drain the snow peas and add them to the noodles.
Preheat the oven to 375 oF.
Grease your baking pan with a little oil.
In a regular bowl, mix the tamarind paste or ketchup mixture with the sweet chili sauce and soy.
Put the fish in the baking pan and season with lemon pepper if you wish.
Spread the tamarind and sweet chili mixture over the fish and top with sesame seeds if ya wanna get fancy.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the juices coming out of the fish are a milky colour. This will make the fish medium rare, but if you like it more flakey, leave it in the oven for 5 extra minutes.
While waiting, you can finish assembling the salad.
Add the tomatoes to the noodles along with the cucumbers, pineapple, and half of the vinegar mixture used to marinate it.
Take the fish out of the oven and serve!
-Samantha R. Gold
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