Malaysian Rice Salad

From issue #10.
Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Malaysian Rice Salad

Serves: 6


500 grams trevally fish fillets, skinned and boned
1 cm piece fresh ginger
1 red chilli, seeds removed
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1⁄4 cup Thai basil leaves plus extra for garnish
3 cups cooked white jasmine rice
3⁄4 cup thread coconut, toasted
2 tablespoons fish sauce

5 coriander roots, scraped clean and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 avocado, stone removed
1⁄2 cup Thai basil leaves
1⁄4 cup lime juice
3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt lime wedges


Place the fish on a lined baking tray and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake until just cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Turn the oven from bake to grill and while it is heating break the cooked fish into small pieces and place back on the baking tray. Place under the grill, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy.

Remove and set aside to cool.

Slice the ginger, chilli and kaffir lime leaves into very fine julienne strips. Place in a bowl along with the turmeric, Thai basil, fish, cooked rice, 1⁄2 cup of the toasted coconut and the fish sauce. Toss gently – clean hands are the best utensils for this.

Dressing: Blend the coriander roots, garlic, chilli, avocado and the basil leaves in a food processor until smooth. Add the lime juice, oil and the salt and process to form a smooth, creamy dressing.

Use a large metal spoon to carefully fold the dressing into the rice, then spoon the salad onto a serving platter. Sprinkle over the remaining toasted coconut and Thai basil and serve with lime wedges. Serves 6