Sunday, June 8, 2014

Unusual Inspiration - Grilled Barramundi with Thai Mango and Cashew Sauce




I read a review of a Thai restaurant that described a mango-ey and cashew-y fish dish. Their description of the dish sounded amazing, and I was intrigued. They called it a name in Thai, that when I googled, yielded zero results. I was a little disappointed, but then set to trying to make something myself, using their flavours. This is by no means what I think their dish would’ve been. This is just a simple sauce topping grilled fish. But the combination of the mango and cashew was definitely a hit with the trademark Thai balance of sweet, sour, salty and hot.

I served this with barramundi, but any firm white fleshed fish would do. Salmon would work ok, too, but I think the barramundi would be better.

Seeing as we are now well and truly at the end of mango season, I used frozen mangoes for this dish. These were still from my tree that I froze when they were in abundance, but you can quite easily by frozen mango cheeks in most supermarkets for a  reasonable price. It’s like a little piece of summer in times when you need the spark.

So here you have a delicious dish, inspired by a restaurant I've never been to, a dish I've never heard of, let alone eaten. Just some words on a screen.

 
 
Grilled Barramundi with Thai Mango and Cashew Sauce
2 barramundi fillets
2 mangoes
¾ cup roasted, unsalted cashews
1 bunch coriander and stems
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 long green chilis, minced
2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 3 limes


Pat fillets dry, then season and sprinkle with zest of one lime. Set aside.

Roughly chop the cashews either with your knife or a processor. Vary the pieces so you get some bigger chunks, and some is very finely chopped. Cube the mangoes, add to a small saucepan with the cashews, ginger, chilis and coriander stems. Cover, then simmer over a medium-low heat until the mangoes start breaking up 5-10 minutes.

Add the fish sauce and lime juice and if needed, a splash of water to loosen the mixture to a more sauce-like consistency. Stir well, then check for seasoning. If your mangoes aren’t particularly sweet, you may need a teaspoon or so of raw sugar to get the right balance. Leave simmering over a very low heat while you cook the fish.

Heat some grapeseed oil in a frypan of medium-high heat. When the oil is nice and hot (but not quite smoking) place the barramundi skin side down and cook for 2 minutes. Flip over and cook for a further 2 minutes or until almost cooked the whole way through.

Serve the fish topped with the mango cashew sauce, with a salad and/or steamed rice on the side