I adore under-ripe or even green mangoes as they contribute both texture and a wonderful acidity to a dish. Asian food stores specialise in such fruit; otherwise simply fossick through the pile for a really firm one and your dish will be great.

We often tend to overlook some of our smaller fish. Whitebait is a good case in point and it is stocked by all decent fishmongers. If you cannot get whitebait, simply serve this salad with another fish.

(Serves 4)

  • 500g whitebait
  • flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • clean oil
  • coriander leaves
  • fried shallots — from Asian provision stores
  • 1 cup roasted fresh peanuts


  • 1 green mango, peeled and cut into fine shreds
  • 1 cup spring onions, cut on the long diagonal
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, shredded
  • 1-2 red chillies, finely shredded, or to your taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup fresh coconut, grated — optional but good
  • 2/3 cup coriander leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • handful bean sprouts


  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, grated or sliced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger



Lightly dust the fish in seasoned flour. Heat the oil to moderately hot — about 180C if you have a thermometer. For the salad, combine the ingredients. For the dressing, combine the ingredients and dress the salad. Deep-fry the whitebait until golden brown and crispy and drain on paper towelling. Tumble the fish through the salad and serve at once with a scatter of coriander leaves, fried shallots and peanuts — and yes I forgot the nuts and fried shallots in the picture!


© The West Australian

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