Poached Sea Trout with Three Flavour Sauce on Thai Salad

Sea Trouts short season is in June and July and is worthwhile hunting down the wild variety if you can. Cold poached sea trout makes an excellent dish to serve to a large dinner or buffet as all the preparation and cooking can be done in advance (as long as you have a large fridge). The sauce and salad make a nice change to the traditional accompaniments to poach fish and it also looks stunning. If you can't find a good whole sea trout or it is out of season use salmon instead.

This dish is a very busy dish with lots of different ingredients, for a simpler version try the following: Serve the sea trout on a bed of coriander with cold cooked rice stick noodles tossed with mint, coriander, basil, crushed peanuts, a little lime juice and sesame oil. Serve this version with a little Thai sweet chilli sauce.

Poached Sea Trout with Three Flavour Sauce

Preparation: 60 minutes

Cooking: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

Poached Sea Trout

  • 2-2.5kg sea trout, gutted and scaled
  • 200ml white wine
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • bay leaf
  • 1 stick of lemon grass
  • 1 handful of coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Three Flavour Sauce:Sauce:

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh long red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander root, chopped finely
  • 1 cm fresh galangal or root ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons palm sugar or light soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind
  • 3-tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 red shallots, sliced and deep fried
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced and deep fried
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, deep fried
  • 2 tbsp holy basil leaves, deep-fried

Thai Salad

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • half a cucumber, sliced thinly into quarters
  • 50g bean sprouts
  • 100g stringless beans, cut into 4
  • 120g lychees, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 spring onions finely chopped
  • handful of Thai basil leaves or normal basil leaves, roughly shredded
  • handful of coriander leaves, stalks finely chopped
  • handful of mint leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 lime leaves, shredded
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 red chilies, finely chopped (with or with out seeds)
  • 1 tsp lemon grass, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Dressing

  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbps fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

To Serve:

  • 1 lychee, peeled
  • 1 slice of a small red chilli
  • 50g rice stick noodles, deep fried (optional)

Method

  1. Poached Sea Trout: Using kitchen scissors, remove the fins from the sea trout. Season the cavity of the sea trout with salt and pepper and place the lemon grass and coriander in it.
  2. Place the sea trout on the rack in a fish poacher or place a couple of layers of foil on the base of a roasting tin and place the sea trout on it. Scatter the star anise, chilli, cardamom pod, bay leaf and cinnamon stick around the sea trout. Pour the wine over the top and enough water to just cover it. If using a roasting tin cover it with foil tightly around the fish.
  3. To Cook: If you are using an oven tray or your stove isn't large enough for the fish poacher, preheat an oven to 160°C. Place the fish poacher over a low heat and slowly bring it to a low simmer or place the fish poacher or oven tray in the preheated oven. Allow the fish to cook slowly for 35-45 minutes (allow 8-10 minutes per 500g). The fish is cooked when the eyes are opaque and when you press the flesh in the centre it feels firm.
  4. When the fish is cooked lift the rack from the poacher or remove it from the oven tray using a couple of large fish slices. Place the fish on a large board to cool.
  5. Remove the lemon grass and coriander from the cavity of the sea trout. Carefully peel off the skin from the sea trout with a small knife leaving the tail and head skin intact. Remove the small bones along the back of the salmon with the knife. Using the back of your knife carefully scrape off the layer of dark meat. Carefully remove the eyes from the sea trout with a small knife (optional). Serve the sea trout or refrigerate it until ready to serve.
  6. Thai Salad:: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss them so that they are well distribute
  7. Dressing: Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl or shake them together in a jar. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss it through the salad so that it is well distributed. If preparing the dish in advance refrigerate and bring it to room temperature before serving it.
  8. Three Flavour Sauce: To make the sauce: Pound the garlic, chilies, coriander, & galangal in a mortar & pestle until fine or place in a food processor. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan and fry the paste until it is fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer the mixture over a low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool before serving.
  9. To Serve: Place the fish on the centre of a large serving dish and place a lychee in the eye cavity and a slice of red chilli in the centre (optional). Place the salad on one side of the dish or serve it in a separate bowl. Pour the sauce over the fish and scatter the deep fried herbs over the fish. Garnish the serving dish with the deep fried noodles (optional). Serve.