Brook trout is a large freshwater fish related to salmon and trout. If you can’t get it, use rainbow trout, though this is much thinner and will cook more quickly. I cooked this dish in the most sublime location, beside the bubbling river at Yarra Valley Salmon farm.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking 7 minutes
180 g bean-thread (cellophane) noodles
3 lemongrass stalks, halved lengthways
4 spring onions (scallions), halved
6 fresh kaffir lime leaves, crushed
4 cm piece fresh ginger, sliced
3 garlic cloves, halved
500 ml (2 cups) fish stock, or more, depending on size of pan
4 x 180 g fillets brook or rainbow trout
2 small red chillies, finely sliced
280 g snow peas (mangetout)
4 fresh limes
1/2 teaspoon Thai fish sauce, or more to taste
2 tablespoons Salmon caviar
1/2 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 Place bean-thread noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water to soften, approx. 5 minutes.
2 Choose a large, deep-sided frying pan with a lid that will just fit the aromatics so they can form a ‘raft’ on which to place the fish, so it can steam. To the dish, add the lemongrass and spring onions and scatter around the kaffir lime leaves, ginger and garlic, then gently pour over the fish stock. Bring to the boil over high heat. Place the fish fillets on top, scatter with the chilli, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is opaque at the edges and still pink in the middle. Scatter the snow peas around the pan in the last minute of cooking, if there is room, otherwise steam or blanch.
3 To serve, drain the noodles and divide between four bowls. Place the fish fillets on top. Stir the juice of 1 lime and the fish sauce through the fish stock and then discard the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Taste and add more lime juice and fish sauce if necessary. Ladle the stock and snow peas around the fish. Top the fish with a heaped teaspoon of the salmon caviar and scatter over the coriander. Serve immediately with an extra lime cheek.
Wine: The lovely citrus flavours cry out for a sémillon or riesling, which can both handle the chilli as they are unwooded.