Tea-Smoked Trout with Thai Cucumber Tomato Salad
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Lapsang souchong tea
1 cup jasmine rice
4 trout fillets, boneless, skin-on, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon tamari
Juice of 2 limes
½ English cucumber, skin striped, cut in half length-wise and cut into ¼-inch half moons
2 fresh green Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced
1 lime leaf, chiffonade (exclude the rib)
1 shallot, minced
½ cup multi colored grape tomatoes, halved
1 scant teaspoon fish sauce
¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped and toasted on a hot dry pan
1. In a large, aluminum foil-lined wok, combine the sugar, tea and rice. Heat on high for about 8 minutes or until the sugar begins to melt and the tea smolders. Stir occasionally to redistribute the melting sugar.
2. Meanwhile, using a pastry brush, paint the fillets with the tamari and juice of one half a lime. Place them in a large bamboo steamer lined with a banana leaf. Cover the steamer tightly and place over the smoldering tea mixture. Surround the seam between the wok and the steamer with wet kitchen towels. Reduce the heat to low. Smoke for 15 minutes or longer until the fish is just cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, make the Thai salad: In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, fresh Thai bird chilies, lime leaf, shallot, tomatoes, fish sauce, remaining lime juice and toasted almonds. Season to taste with salt.
4. To plate: line a serving plate with a banana leaf. Place fish on top of the banana leaf and then top the fish with the Thai salad.
TY KU Super Premium Junmai Ginjo Sake