Betel leaves with smoked trout, galangal and trout roe

Betel leaves with smoked trout, galangal and trout roe

New Thai Food
Jeremy Simons

The smokiness of the trout in this dish is cut with the fresh lime juice – the sweet and sour flavours are very light and herbaceous.


Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons Red chilli nahm jim
400g smoked river trout, skinned and flaked
2 red asian shallots, thinly sliced
2 long red chillies, seeded and julienned
3 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
30g coriander leaves
20 betel leaves
50g trout roe
Crisp-fried garlic or red Asian shallots, shallots only, to garnish


Quantity Ingredient
5 cm piece fresh galangal, peeled and finely sliced
10 garlic cloves, peeled
500ml canola oil
6 dried long red chillies, seeded
4 tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, drained
100g palm sugar, shaved
100ml fish sauce


  1. To make the paste, dry-roast the galangal in a small frying pan over a low heat until fragrant, stirring continuously, for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Blend the garlic with a hand-held blender, or finely chop. Heat the oil in a wok to 160°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 25–30 seconds. Deep-fry the garlic until it is the colour of lightly stained pine. Remove the wok from the heat and strain the garlic oil into a clean bowl. Drain the garlic on paper towel.
  3. Return the oil to the wok and reheat. Add the chillies and move around in the oil until they turn a deep red, for 10–12 seconds. Remove and drain on paper towel. Reserve the garlic oil.
  4. Pound the galangal, garlic, chillies and dried shrimp with 50 ml reserved garlic oil in a mortar and pestle to a fine paste. Or blend in a food processor with 100 ml oil.
  5. Put the paste in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and fry, stirring continuously, for about 8 minutes. Add the palm sugar and fish sauce and stir until amalgamated, fragrant and the sugar has melted. Don’t let it caramelise or it will set hard when cooled. Set aside to cool.
  6. Put 2 tablespoons of the cooled paste in a mixing bowl. Stir in the red chilli nahm jim to form a thick, sauce-like consistency. Add the trout, shallots, chillies, lime leaves and coriander and gently bring together to bind all the ingredients.
  7. To assemble, spoon 1 tablespoon of the trout mixture onto each betel leaf, then top with 1 teaspoon trout roe and a few crisp-fried shallots.
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