Asian Foods Ep.2

Asian Foods : Crispy fish with long beans and green mango

by Thomas M. Tillman
This dish is inspired by all the fresh ingredients we saw in Laos. I'd never seen markets like it.



  • 2 tbspsugar
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ½red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 small pieceginger, finely shredded
  • 2lime leaves, thick stem removed, finely shredded
  • dash fish sauce, to taste


  • 4long beans (snake beans)
  • 1green mango (see Note)
  • handful bean shoots, washed and picked
  • ½ bunchmint, leaves picked
  • ½ bunchspearmint, leaves picked
  • ½ bunchholy basil
  • 30 gdried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 5 mins, drained and dried
  • 1 tbspsesame seeds toasted
  • 30 groasted whole peanuts
  • 2 tbsproasted ground rice (see Note)
  • 1 tbspfinely shredded lemongrass, white part only
  • 1 tbspcrisp fried garlic slivers
  • 2 tbspcrisp fried shallots
  • ½ bunchbetel leaves, to serve


  • 400 gwhite fish, skin on (blue eye or barramundi)
  • 500 mlpeanut oil for frying
  • 2 tbspfish sauce
  • 1 tbspsoy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 grice flour

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the dressing, place the sugar and lime juice in a bowl and stir until just dissolved. Add the chilli, ginger. lime leaves and fish sauce and stir to combine. Set aside until required.

For the salad, cut the snake beans into 4 cm (2 inch) lengths. Peel green mango and shred flesh into fine strips and set aside.

For the fish, pour the oil into a deep heavy-based frying pan (the oil should be approximately 2cm deep) and set over a high heat. Heat to 180°C, then turn the heat down to low. The oil should be just shimmering.

Meanwhile, slice the fish thinly through the skin approximately 4mm deep, sprinkle over the fish sauce and soy, add a touch of ground black pepper and marinate for a few minutes, ensuring the pieces are nicely coated.

Place the rice flour in a bowl and dredge the fish through the flour. Make sure the fish pieces are well coated then tap of the excess and drop gently into the hot oil.

Fry for 2-3 minutes, moving occasionally to prevent the slices from sticking together and brown evenly. When slices are very crisp and golden brown, remove and drain well on a paper towel lined plate.

To finish, bruise the snake beans and half the shredded mango in a mortar and pestle with a little of the dressing. Place into a bowl, along with the remaining green mango, bean sprouts, fresh mint, spearmint, holy basil, drained and dried shrimps, sesame seeds, peanuts, ground toasted rice and lemongrass. Add the fish, fried shallots and garlic and lightly toss together.

Arrange the betel leaves on 4 serving dishes and pile the salad on top. Drizzle the dressing over each dish and serve.

Note • If green mango is not in season, use anything crunchy instead, such as apple or cucumber