Salt-Baked Rainbow Trout with Crispy Lotus Root. This gorgeous salt-baked trout will soon become your new favourite way to cook fish. Locking in all the delicious flavours, the melt-in-your-mouth flakes of trout will have you coming back for more, every time.
vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 small lotus root, peeled, thinly sliced
1.5kg rock salt
2 x 420g rainbow trout, cleaned, scaled (salmon can be used in place of trout)
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
8 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light palm sugar, finely grated
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
1 bunch Chinese broccoli, trimmed, blanched
Preheat oven to 250°C. Fill a large saucepan 3cm deep with oil. Heat over high heat until it reaches 180°C on a cooking thermometer. Cook lotus root in oil in batches, 3-4 minutes or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper and season with salt. Set aside.
Spread 500g of the rock salt on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with water until damp. Place fish on the salt bed. Fill the cavity with lemongrass and lime leaves. Cover fish with remaining salt, dampen with water. Press to completely cover. Bake for 25 minutes or until the salt crust becomes hard.
Combine lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Stir through tamarind and chilli.
When fish is cooked, carefully break the salt crust to reveal the fish. Peel away the skin and serve with tamarind and chilli dressing, crispy lotus root and broccoli.
Tip: Lotus root is sold at Asian groceries. If you can’t find it fresh it is also sold frozen. Thinly sliced fried potato would also be a great substitute.