Vietnamese fish salad

‘Cooked’ in a powerful rice and vinegar marinade, this simple yet effective salad marries the soft texture of fish with the crunch of peanuts. With fresh herbs and hot chilli as flavourings, it makes a great lunch or dinner that tastes delicious and is good for you too.

Vietnamese fish salad


  • 500 g (1 lb) skinless, boneless whiting fillets or other firm white fish fillets
  • 1¾ cups (435 ml) rice vinegar
  • 250 g (8 oz) onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons raw peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons short–grain white rice
  • 1½ tablespoons finely shredded fresh mint, plus extra, to serve
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped, plus extra, thinly sliced, to serve


  1. Cut each fish fillet in half and then slice into long thin strips.
  2. Place the fish in a large bowl and pour over 1¼ cups (310 ml) of the vinegar, turning to coat the fish.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Put the onion in a bowl with the sugar and salt and pour over the remaining vinegar.
  5. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved, then leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, crush the peanuts finely using a pestle and mortar, then dry–fry them in a wok or large non–stick frying pan over low heat for 2–3 minutes, or until they are evenly browned.
  7. Remove them from the wok and set aside.
  8. Add the rice to the wok and toast it for 3–4 minutes until it is golden all over, then place it in the mortar and crush it as finely as you can.
  9. Drain the onion and remove the fish from the marinade and pat them both dry with paper towels.
  10. Place the onion and fish in a large bowl and add the mint and chilli.
  11. Toss gently to combine, then sprinkle the toasted crushed peanuts and rice on top and toss again.
  12. Garnish with extra mint and chilli, if desired, and serve.

Serves 4
Preparation: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour marinating
Cooking: 5-7 minutes


Low Fat No Fat Asian Cooking

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