My Garden Guru buddy, Phil Dudman and I visited Coffs Coast Growers market a couple of years a go and we were able to choose from their broad selection of goodies, direct from the producers. We came up with some tasty delights. One of them was an Eastern School Whiting with Vietnamese salad.
I have changed the recipe slightly for this weeks ABC The Big Fish programme but really it doesn’t have to be whiting. Use whatever your catching or what’s seasonal in your fish shop. Enjoy!
Butterflied crispy whiting with Vietnamese salad
1/2 cup plain flour
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 Whiting, butterflied and deboned, leaving tails in tact
macadamia or vegetable oil, for shallow frying
Steamed rice, to serve
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 small red onion, halved and sliced into thin slivers
1/4 wombok (Chinese cabbage), finely shredded
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
1 bunch green asparagus, chopped into 5cm pieces, blanched(if using small asparagus no need to blanch)
1/3 cup roughly chopped macadamias, toasted (see notes)
1 tablespoon finely shredded Vietnamese mint leaves
2 tablespoons shredded mint leaves
2 tablespoons macadamia oil
To make the Vietnamese Salad: combine rice vinegar, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, red chilli and pepper. Add the onion and leave to marinate.
In a large bowl combine the remaining salad ingredients and add mint and macadamias and set aside.
Place flour, salt and pepper in a large freezer bag, add the Whiting and shake well to coat. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add just enough oil to cover the base of the pan. Add fish pieces in a single layer, skin side down (you may need to cook in batches), turn gently after 2-3 minutes and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel.
Finish the Vietnamese salad: add macadamia oil, onions and their marinade to the salad mixture and gently toss to combine. Place salad on a platter, top with fish and serve with steamed rice.