Smoked whitefish with som tam salad
2 whitefish fillets, 200–250 g each
sea salt from a mill
Som tam salad
500 g green papaya
15 cherry tomatoes
2 red chilli peppers
2 cloves of solo garlic
2 dl roasted and salted cashew nuts
1 tbsp brown cane sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
mint leaves and clover shoots for garnish
Start with the papaya – you can find it in Asian grocery shops or well-stocked supermarkets. You can also substitute spring cabbage or fresh cucumber for the papaya. Remove the cucumber seeds with a spoon and use only the solid part.
Shred the papaya and carrot into thin strips or grate coarsely. Halve the cherry tomatoes and chop the chilli pepper and garlic into a bowl. Grate the lime zest and squeeze in the juice and pulp. Add the nuts and fish sauce. Mash the ingredients with a meat tenderiser or potato masher until well mixed to release the flavours. Put the salad in the refrigerator to season while smoking the whitefish.
Salt the whitefish fillets lightly with sea salt and place them skin down on the grille of the smoke box. Put a layer of alder smoking dust on the bottom of the smoke box, around 2 dl per kg of fish. Smoking is a laid-back activity, and everyone finds their preferred type and amount of smoking dust through trial and error. If you add a sugar cube or two with the smoking dust, it gives the fish a little colour. Next, put the grease tray above the dust and the grille with the whitefish above that. Heat the grill to 200 °C and place the closed smoke box on the burners. Smoke the whitefish for around 15 minutes and then carefully lift the smoke box from the grill. Let it cool slightly before opening it.
Put a nice portion of the salad on a plate, place the whitefish on top and garnish with mint leaves and clover shoots!