Fish Mint & Fried Fish Salad

Fish mint salad with fried fish cubes

This dish has been inspired by Luke Nguyen’s  Fish mint root and tofu salad. However I have made some adaptations. Since I’m not fond of tofu, I’ve used fried fish cubes that were first marinated in soya sauce, ginger and garlic paste and chilli powder.

I have also used a few leaves along with the roots. Fish mint or bishop’s weed is also known as the chameleon plant. The scientific name is Houttuynia cordata. This plant grows in shady and wet areas and can be invasive. But it is also a popular herb of our region. It is used in salads, chutneys, particularly with dried fish and most people like to have them raw because of the medicinal properties. In my mother tongue this is called mojo-khmou which translates to rat’s ears. The dark green heart-shaped leaves are pungent and have a sharp taste. While watching the show on Fox Traveller I was surprised to know that in some parts of China it’s the roots that are preferred. The leaves are generally ground to a paste and applied to the skin to take care of rashes and other skin ailments.

Fish mint with cleaned roots and marinated fish cubes

The fish:
Take a few pieces and cut them into a dozen small cubes. Marinate them for about ten minutes in a mix of ginger and garlic pastes, chilli powder, soya sauce, and a hint of salt. Heat about three tablespoons of vegetable oil and fry them till golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and keep aside.

Take a handful each of:
Fish mint leaves
Fish mint roots
Coriander leaves
Mint leaves
A few garlic chives

Chop all these ingredients fine, except for the roots. They can be cut into 3 cm lengths.

The Dressing:
Soya sauce
A quarter teaspoon chilli flakes
A thumb-size piece of ginger, julienned
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped fine
It’s more by eye than by measurements with the dressing!

Mix everything together in a bowl and leave for about ten minutes or so for the flavours to infuse. In another bowl place all the other ingredients for the salad. Pour the dressing and mix gently. Transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy!

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