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Thai sea bass with holy basil rice noodle salad

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For the sea bass

  • 4 x 250g/9oz sea bass fillet pieces, skin on
  • 6 tbsp peanuts, roasted
  • 10cm/4in piece fresh root ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
  • large bunch holy basil, leave only (available from Asian grocers)
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil

For the dressing

For the rice noodle salad

  • 250g/9oz dried rice noodles
  • ½ fresh coconut, shell removed, flesh finely sliced on a mandoline or using a vegetable peeler
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • large bunch holy basil, leaves only


  1. For the sea bass, lightly score the skin of the sea bass with the tip of a sharp knife.

  2. Place all of the remaining sea bass ingredients, except for the vegetable oil, into a mortar and pound with a pestle until the mixture comes together to form a rough paste.

  3. Add all but one tablespoon of the oil to the paste and pound again until well combined. Rub the mixture all over the sea bass fillets, place into a covered container and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

  4. Heat a frying pan and add the remaining vegetable oil. Fry the sea bass fillets, skin-side down, for 2-3 minutes on both sides, or until cooked through. Remove the fish from the pan and leave to rest on a warm plate.

  5. For the dressing, place all of the dressing ingredients except the passion fruit into a food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in the passion fruit pulp.

  6. For the salad, pour boiling water over the noodles in a bowl and leave to soak for five minutes, or until softened. Drain, then refresh in cold water. Drizzle over two-thirds of the dressing and mix well to coat, then add all of the remaining salad ingredients and mix well.

  7. To serve, divide the rice noodle salad among four serving plates. Place a sea bass fillet on top of each mound of rice noodle salad, then drizzle the remaining dressing around the plate.

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Scoring skin

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