Som Saa has quickly become one of the crowning jewels of London’s oriental dining scene with regional Thai dishes incredibly fresh and packed full of flavour. One of our favourite dishes on the menu is the Deep Fried Seabass and while our attempt won’t come close to what you get at the East London site, we will give it a damn good go. Transport yourself to Thailand and create this delicious dish by Andy Oliver.
Serves 2 – 4 as part of a shared Thai meal
For the fish:
1 seabass about 500-600g in weight, gutted and scaled but fins and tail left on
3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
pinch of white sugar
plain oil to deep fry (preferably in a deep fryer, but a wok or high sided frying pan works too)
For the salad:
2 sticks of lemongrass, finely sliced
4-5 thai red shallots, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, washed and thinly sliced
a small handful of sawtooth coriander (also sometimes called Thai parsley), washed an thinly sliced
3-4 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves, cut into very fine strips
a small handfull each of picked mint and coriander leaves
2-3 dry chillies, fried briefly in a little oil until dark red an crisp
1 generous tablespoon of roasted rice powder (*see below for method)
For the dressing:
5 tablespoons of lime juice
4 tablespoons of fish sauce
1.5 teaspoon of caster sugar
3 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of roasted chilli powder (**see below for method)
* to make the roasted rice powder: dry toast raw sticky rice in a heavy pan over a low heat until golden brown in colour, allow to cool and then grind to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar or clean spice / coffee grinder
** to make the roasted chilli powder: slowly dry roast hot dried chillies in a wok or frying over a medium-low heat until dark red and a little blacken in places (about 10-15 minutes) then grind into a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar or clean spice / coffee grinder
To assemble the dish:
Pre heat your deep fryer to 180 degrees C. Score the seabass with three to four angled cuts on each side. Then roll it in the light soy sauce and white sugar. Place the fish in the deep fry basket so it curls slightly (this is just for presentation) and then deep fry it for about 8-10 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the flesh gone a deep golden brown.
While the fish is frying place all the salad ingredients, except the roasted rice powder and fried chillies, in a mixing bowl.
Now make the dressing: mix together the lime juice and sugar until the sugar is all dissolved, now add the fish sauce, water and chilli powder. Taste and adjust: it should be hot, sour and slightly salty. Set aside.
Once the fish is cooked carefully remove from the fryer and allow to drain and cool slightly on kitchen paper for a minute
Now the fish on a large plate or wide bowl and pour 1/3 of the dressing over it, add the remainder of the dressing to the salad in the mixing bowl an serve the salad and all the dressing over the top of the crispy fish.
Garnish with the roasted rice powder and dried chillies.
Our mouths are watering and our stomachs grumbling – a winning dish any time of the year!
Butcher and Brine
One of the perks of working for Change is the amazing contacts we make through placing people into chef jobs in London and abroad. We recently had the pleasure of welcoming two experienced chefs into our office to cook for us; their credentials include stints at Tom’s Kitchen, Tom Aikens and The Pawn in Hong Kong. But this was no normal office cook-up. Having ditched their conventional chef jobs, they are now cooking up gourmet street food at affordable prices and oh my, were we impressed!
We sat down with co-founder of Butcher and Brine, Kevin McCrae, to find out more about the concept.
How did Butcher & Brine come about?
James and I came up with the Butcher and Brine concept whilst working in Hong Kong. As you know street food has really taken off recently here in the UK and we wanted to be a part of it.
What type of food does Butcher & Brine focus on?
The style is nose to tail street food that makes use of preservation techniques such as pickling, brining, curing and fermenting. Meat does take pride of place on the menu but we also do some incredible smoked and confit fish dishes too.
Where can we get our hands on Butcher & Brine?
We’re currently trading at markets across London cooking up high-end restaurant cuisine but in a street food setting.
Find us at:
We also cater for private events and although Butcher and Brine is a street food concept we have packages to suit any style, from rooftop staff parties at £25 per head to bespoke tasting menus at £250 per head. We really can create the perfect party or dinner for our clients.
A concept we have recently launched is Office Drop. The premise is we cook lunch for an entire office team in 30 minutes. These drops are paid upfront and are normally used by companies to reward staff. It’s a very entertaining, informative and most importantly tasty alternative to their normal lunch.
We can definitely vouch for the Office Drop concept; we’re all still daydreaming about the food. Although the menu is ever changing and will depend on what ingredients are available on the particular day, our menu included:
We were honestly blown away by the food and would highly recommend this to other businesses that want to spoil their employees in a different and creative way.
We want to wish Butcher and Brine all the best with their new venture, we are certain this concept is going to take off and they are going to be extremely successful!
To find out more or to book Butcher and Brine, please contact Kevin and James on:
Follow Butcher and Brine: @butcherandbrine
If you haven’t heard of Balls and Company, we’re not quite sure where you’ve been hiding. There’s been a lot of hype about this meatball centric new opening and we can’t wait to try it.
So who’s the brain behind this unique concept? Australian born Bonny Porter is the lady of the hour in the Head Chef job. Having previously worked at The Arts Club in Mayfair and Village East in Bermondsey, she now hopes to launch a completely new dining experience in London.
From what we’ve heard Bonny’s balls are going to be anything but ordinary, cue Jerry Lee Lewis’ ‘Great balls of fire’. Expect “Wagyu beef”, “Confit salmon” and “Quinoa, beetroot & feta” all topped with a sauce of your choice, options include ‘Romesco with red pepper, almonds, hazelnuts & garlic’. Think unconventional meatballs made from only the finest produce and you’re on the right track to what Balls & co has in stall for us.
And if meatballs aren’t your go-to dish, don’t panic! You can order a trio of sliders for only £8, flavours include:
– Chicken with Sugo, ricotta bechamel & aubergine
– Wagyu, tomato jam, gruyere & pickles
– Pork with romesco, aioli & charred radicchio
Besides our excitement about the food, we’re also really passionate about Bonny’s vision for her brigade. These days it’s hard to come by a chef job in London that only requires you to work 45 hours per week and has a great pension plan; that’s what Balls & co is offering.
The perfect person for this Chef de Partie job is someone who has heaps of creativity, a real desire to cook everything from scratch using quality produce and to learn a lot along the way. You’ll have a say in the menu and a lot of autonomy to experiment and show your skills.
If you are interested in chef jobs at restaurants like Balls and Company, give us a call on 02079236030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.