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Crispy fish with long beans and green mango

Serves 4


2 tbsp sugar
juice of 2 limes
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 piece ginger, finely shredded
2 lime leaves, thick stem removed, finely shredded
dash fish sauce


4 long beans (snake beans)
Handful bean shoots, washed and picked
1 green mango, peeled and shredded
1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked
1/2 bunch spearmint, leaves picked
1/2 holy basil
1/2 bunch betel leaves
30g dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 5 mins, drained and dried
1 tblsp sesame seeds toasted
1 tbsp crispy fried garlic slivers
2 tbsp crisp fried shallots
30g roasted whole peanuts
2 tbsp roasted ground rice
1 tbsp finely shredded lemongrass, white part only


400g white fish, skin on (blue eye or barramundi)
500ml peanut oil for frying
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
100g rice flour


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.


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


Pour the oil into a deep heavy based frying pan, approximately 2cm deep and set over a high heat. Heat to 180'C and turn the heat down to low. The oil should be just shimmering.

Meanwhile, slice the fish thinly through the skin approximately 4mm thick, 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, drained and dried shrimps, sesame seeds, toasted 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.

Duck Larb
Serves 4

2 duck breast plus extra skin if available
1/4 cup short grain rice
2 lemons
1 banana flower
2 tsp prickly ash or szechuan pepper
pinch salt
1/2 tablespoon castor sugar
1 lime, juiced
1 chilli, finely sliced, including seeds
1cm galangal, peeled
1 tblp fish sauce
Small handful mint, picked
Small handful coriander, leaves picked
Small handful Thai basil, leaves picked
3 saw tooth coriander, leaves picked
2 banana shallots, thinly sliced
2 lime leaves, shredded finely
2 spring onion, finely sliced white and light green only
2 stalks lemongrass, finely shredded, tender white part only
2 tbsp fried garlic
2 tbsp fried shallots
1 tbsp peanuts, toasted

Place the rice into a small non-stick pan and place over a medium heat, toast the rice slowly stirring or tossing regularly to ensure the rice cooks evenly for 5-6 minutes or until the rice is a light golden brown. Cool and pound in a mortar and pestle to a fine powder, set aside.

Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice of 1 1/2 lemons into a large bowl of water. Throw in the squeezed half lemons. With the remaining half lemon squeeze and rub the juice over the chopping board and blade of the knife.

To prepare the banana flower, remove the tough outer leaves of the blossom and discard them. Gently reveal the undeveloped banana layer by layer, discarding the long stamen. Rub any cut or torn surfaces with the lemon half as you go, as they will oxidize and go dark brown quickly. Stack the leaves and shred finely with a sharp knife placing into the lemon water immediately to prevent the banana flower from discolouring. Set aside for 15 minutes in the fridge. Rain onto paper towel when ready to use. Score the duck breast lightly with the tip of a sharp knife on a 45-degree angle, taking care to score only the skin. Pound the prickly ash into a powder in a mortar and pestle, then lightly season the duck breast with the prickly ash and a pinch of salt. Place a good non-stick pan over a medium heat. Place the duck breast skin side down into the pan and cook gently for 15 minutes or until the skin is crisp and the fat has rendered. Flip the duck over and cook for another two minutes, then remove from the pan and allow too rest for 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and lime juice into a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Grate the chilli, grate the galangal with a micro plane and pop into the dressing, add the fish sauce and stir to combine.

Slice the duck as finely as you can and place onto a paper towel to soak away any juices. Place all the herbs, banana shallots, toasted rice, lime leaf, spring onions, drained banana leaves and lemongrass into a large bowl, add the duck slices and toss to combine. Drench with the dessing, scatter with crisp garlic, shallots and peanuts and serve into a large serving bowl.

Sticky rice with mushrooms and jack fruit seeds

makes 10 parcels

The Loas people are often referred to as the “children of sticky rice” because they eat so much of it. Ideally you should use a traditional conical bamboo steamer basket with a lid for best results. This allows you to steam the rice gently then flip it over during the cooking.

The jackfruit seeds were delicious and entirely unexpected, they taste very similar to chestnuts so feel free to substitute them if they prove difficult to find.

The rice can be eaten on its own without re steaming but the banana leaf adds flavour and convenience for a lunch box or snack so give it a go. Find large fresh leaves and cut 12cm circles in the body of the leaves, avoiding the stem.

2 cups Loas glutinous rice
2 punets king brown mushrooms
2 punet oyster mushrooms
6 shallots, peeled
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 birds eye chilli
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
10 jackfruit seeds, blanched, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup Saw tooth coriander, snipped
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup crisp shallots
1 cup mung beans soaked, boiled & drained
1 tbsp peanut oil - for brushing

Place the rice into a medium bowl and cover then wash gently 4-5 times until the water begins to run clear. Cover with warm water and soak for 4 hours or ideally overnight. Choose a tall pot that the steamer basket will fit snugly into and 1/4 fill with water and bring to the boil. Drain the soaked rice into the bamboo steamer basket and place over the boiling water. Make sure the steamer doesn’t touch the water below and the water is boiling.

Pop on the lid and steam for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the steamer from the pot and flip the rice over, cook for another 5-10 minutes until the rice is springy to touch and fully cooked. Tip the rice into a large bowl and mix through gently with chopsticks to break the rice up and separate. Set aside in a large bowl.

Pre heat a BBQ on high or alternatively pop a wire rack over a low open gas flame.

Cut the king brown mushrooms into large chunks and thread them onto wooden skewers and set aside. Repeat this process with the oyster mushrooms, shallots, garlic and chili. Brush with a little oil and BBQ until charred and just cooked, approx. 4 minutes. The shallots and garlic will take a little longer and should be sweet and soft.

Remove the shallots, garlic and chilli from the skewers and crush to a rough paste in a pestle and mortar. Remove the mushrooms from the skewers and chop roughly.

Place the mushrooms, spring onions, jackfruits, coriander, sesame seeds, crispy shallots, mung beans and shallot, garlic, chilli paste into a bowl and mix together

Gently mix in the rice.

Fold the circle of banana leaf into a cone, place enough rice into the banana leaf to fill the cone 3/4 full. Fold in one edge first then fold in the next so they overlap. Press down so the rice is firmly packed, secure with a toothpick and set aside until they are all complete.

Pop the banana leaf parcels back into the steamer, cover with the lid and steam for 20 minutes and serve.