South-East Asian Dressing
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons palm sugar, grated
4 long, dried red chillies, deseeded, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water, drained and pounded to a paste with a pinch of salt added
For the noodles, fried fish and herbs
250g Thai rice noodles, cooked for 4 minutes until tender in boiling water, drained and rinsed well in cold water
2 grapefruit, peeled with a sharp knife, flesh cut from in between the segments
2 kaffir lime leaves, central spine removed, leaves very thinly sliced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons peanut oil
600g John Dory fillets, cut into 5cm pieces
1/2 cup each of coriander, basil, mint and dill sprigs
1/2 cup fried shallots (available from Asian food stores)
1/2 cup coarsely crushed, roasted, unsalted peanuts
A firm white fish can be substituted for the John Dory: monkfish, hapuku, snapper.
for the dressing
Make the dressing by mixing the fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and chillies until the sugar has dissolved.
Taste and adjust the sweet (sugar), salty (fish sauce), sour (lime juice) and hot (chilli) flavours if necessary.
for the fish
Spread the prepared noodles on a wide serving platter and sprinkle grapefruit segments, sliced kaffir lime leaves and sliced raw shallots on top.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the fish until golden brown.
Do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
Place the fish on the cold noodles and pour the dressing over.
To serve, scatter the fresh herb sprigs, fried shallots and peanuts on top.