Whitebait Thai Salad


  • 2 green mangoes, finely shredded
  • 100g Asian salad leaves
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup Vietnamese mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
  • 200g fresh whitebait
  • Peanut or sunflower oil, to deep-fry


  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus wedges to serve



  • For the dressing, combine fish sauce, rice vinegar, palm sugar, chilli and lime juice in a bowl, stirring to dissolve sugar. Taste, then adjust with extra fish sauce, lime or sugar, if desired. Set aside.
  • Combine the green mango, salad leaves and herbs in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine the flour and dried chilli flakes in a shallow dish. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan with oil, then heat to 180°C (a cube of bread will turn golden in 30 seconds when the oil is hot enough).
  • Dust whitebait in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess, then fry, in batches, for 2-3 minutes until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel. Keep warm while you cook the remainder.
  • Toss the salad with half the dressing. Divide salad among bowls, then top with whitebait and serve with lime wedges and remaining dressing, to drizzle.