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Video: Home cooking with Susan Jung - Balinese fish tacos

This recipe is adapted from one that's used at Mano Cafe in Central

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 September, 2015, 2:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 3:43pm

This recipe was prepared with the help of a guest chef, my good friend Vivian Herijanto. Vivian owns Corner Kitchen, where they have cooking parties and private events, and she also has Corner Kitchen Cafe on Hollywood  Road in Sheung Wan, and Mano Cafe in Central.

Vivian says this Indonesia-inspired recipe is one of the most popular dishes at Mano Cafe. They change it slightly throughout the year, usually changing the garnishes (in place of the lettuce and tomato, she suggests using sliced avocado and/or onion), but the basics are the same: pan-fried fish fillets with a fragrant, tangy dressing wrapped in a warm corn tortilla. At Mano Cafe, they use barramundi, but Vivian says you can use other types of firm white fish. You can leave the skin on the fish, or remove it, whichever you prefer.

WATCH Susan and Vivian make fish tacos

Balinese fish tacos

2 barramundi fillets, about 800 grams

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 30ml canola oil, or as needed

8 corn tortillas

Lettuce leaves, torn into pieces

Tomatoes, sliced

Lime wedges

Kewpie mayonnaise

For the lemongrass and chilli dressing:

2 stalks lemongrass

2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped

1 red finger chilli, roughly chopped

1 bird's eye chilli, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

A small handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped

About 30ml fish sauce

About 30ml fresh lime juice 15ml white wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp honey

250ml canola oil

Trim off the root end of the lemongrass, then slice off and discard the top, leaving about 6cm of the bottom end. Slice the lemongrass, then put it and all the other dressing ingredients in a food processor. Puree until the ingredients are as smooth as possible, then taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings, if needed.

Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Heat about 30ml of canola oil in a skillet set over a medium-high flame. When the pan is very hot, add the fish fillets and cook, turning them over once, until the fish is just cooked through. Do not overcook. Put the fish on a cutting board to cool slightly, then cut the fillets into 2cm-wide pieces.

Very lightly oil a skillet and place it over a medium flame, then add the corn tortillas and heat them briefly, turning them over once.

Divide the fish between the tortillas and add lettuce and tomato. Spoon some of the dressing over the tacos, then add zigzags of the Kewpie mayonnaise. Serve extra dressing in a bowl so diners can add more if they want, and squeeze lime juice over the tacos before eating.

The dressing makes much more than you'll need for the tacos; it keeps very well in the fridge, and is delicious on lettuce or cabbage salads.