Tea-smoked wild trout with crème fraîche and chilli sauce

Serves 4

Tea-smoking is a great way to cook oily fish - especially salmon and trout as they take on a heady, smokey, otherworldly taste which is quite delicious. Use whatever tea you prefer. I like Lapsang, Yunnan and Darjeeling.

45g/2oz muscovado sugar
60g/21/2oz caster sugar
125ml/4fl oz tea
500g/16oz wild salmon
1 small bunch coriander, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 medium red chilli, roughly chopped (seeds included)
2tbsp palm sugar (or caster sugar)
1tbsp ginger, finely grated
3tbsp lime juice
2tbsp fish sauce
3 small cucumbers
4tbsp crème fraîche
1 handful of salad leaves


Combine the sugars and tea together in a bowl. Using aluminium foil, shape two small cups approximately 3in (7.5cm) across and 1in (2.5cm) deep. Pour half of the tea mixture into each and place the foil bowls at the bottom of a baking dish. Position a pudding bowl in each corner of the baking tray and lay a wire rack on top. Next, cut (omega) parchment paper roughly in the shape of the food you are tea-smoking and lay on the wire rack and place the food on top. If you have one, turn on your extractor fan and place the baking tray across two burners of the stove over a medium heat. It will take approximately 10 minutes for the smoke to get going at which point the food will begin to flavour. Smoke for a further three minutes then turn off the heat and allow the fish to sit for a further couple of minutes. Remove the lid and take out the fish and set aside until ready to use.

For the sweet chilli sauce, place the coriander, garlic, chilli, sugar and ginger in a pestle and mortar and pound together until well crushed and a paste is formed. Add the lime juice and fish sauce and stir to combine. Make the sauce as close as possible to the time you will be serving it.

Using a peeler, slice the cucumber lengthwise into thin slivers. Place the salad leaves and cucumber into a bowl and spoon over a little of the chilli sauce. Place half of the salad on the plate followed by the trout. Finish with a spoonful of crme fraîche and a final drizzle of chilli sauce.

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