smoked fish salad bowl
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Arbroath smokie is a whole small haddock fish, dry salted in tubs and smoked over smoking pits. If it all sounds like a folk tale, it’s because it is: a true smokie is only haddock, and only produced in the traditional way in the fishing villages around Arbroath in Angus, Scotland.
For those who have just gone: ‘riiiiight, this carburettor smokie is about as accessible for me as fresh tomatillos are for the Swedes and the whale blubber for YOU, Cuisine Fiend person’; the smokie is not the crucial ingredient of this salad. It can be swapped for another easily flaked smoked fish: mackerel, trout, halibut or salmon. To be honest it would be nice even with shredded, smoked chicken or duck but the smokiness plays a key part.
The other key part is the dressing and the combination of flavours. I owe much to Hank the Hunter Angler Gardener Cook whose vaguely Vietnamese smoked shad (whaaat? whale blubber next) salad was my inspiration.
If you can get a smokie though, do try it: I spent years staring vacantly at them on a fish stall, thinking it was kipper’s even bonier cousin – or something. Couldn’t be more wrong: it’s divinely flaky and not so bony. If you’re a (wasteful!) picky person, just lift the flesh off the back sides leaving the small bones in the belly side for a more frugal and patient family member to pick.
smoked fish salad bowlServings: 2Time: 20 minutes plus cooking rice
- For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 tbsp. hot sriracha chilli sauce
- 4 tbsp. sesame oil
- For the salad:
- 120g (1 cup) brown rice
- 1 tsp butter
- a pinch of salt
- 250ml (1 cup) stock
- 1 Arbroath smokie (or mackerel, or trout etc.)
- 2 large carrots, julienned or coarsely grated
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 jalapeno chilli, de-seeded and sliced very thinly
- 2cm (1in) fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. raw or salted pistachios, shelled and chopped
To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together.
Rinse the rice in cold water until it runs clear. Cover it with fresh cold water and soak for half an hour. Drain and shake off.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the rice and stir to coat it in the butter. Pour in the stock, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Immediately turn the heat down to minimum (2 on induction hob), stir the rice and cover the pan tightly with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes without lifting the lid.
Turn it off and keep covered for further 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.
Open the Arbroath smokie and pull out the main bone. Flake the flesh into chunks, removing pin bones as much as you can.
Place the carrots, onions, tomatoes, chilli, ginger and coriander in a large bowl. Add the flaked fish and gently mix together. Add half the dressing and check for seasoning.
Spoon a mound of rice in each serving bowl and pile a portion of the salad on top. Sprinkle with the pistachios and the rest of the coriander; serve the remaining dressing on the side.