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Vietnamese Style Lake Trout Salad

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This vibrant salad was inspired by Vietnamese gỏi xoài, a dish usually made with green mango and shrimp. 

Swapping the shrimp for pieces of poached lake trout works wonderfully with the piquant dressing; the fish’s strong taste shines through without overpowering. Using ripe mango instead of green adds a nice sweetness to the dish.

Use a large assortment of colourful root vegetables and mixed fresh herbs to create a breathtakingly vibrant salad that will impress everyone who sees it! 

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Vietnamese Style Lake Trout Salad

Recipe by Adam Berkelmans
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  • 1 cup rice or white vinegar

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 4 cups julienned (cut into matchsticks) root vegetables (daikon radish, watermelon radish, carrot, turnip, red radish, rutabaga, parsnip, candy cane beet, golden beet, etc.)

  • 1/3 English cucumber, julienned (cut into matchsticks)

  • Salt

  • 12 oz boneless, skinless lake trout fillet(s)

  • 1 large mango, peeled and julienned

  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-3 Thai red chilies, minced (1 for mild, 3 for spicy)

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 2 cups fresh herbs (cilantro, Thai basil, Italian basil, mint, sawtooth herb, perilla, Vietnamese coriander, etc.), hand-torn

  • 1/4 cup store-bought crispy shallots (optional)

  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)


  • Add vinegar, sugar, and hot water to a large bowl. Mix well until the sugar dissolves. Add the julienned root vegetables and toss in the liquid. Soak for 30 minutes. 
  • After 15 minutes has elapsed, add the julienned cucumber to the marinade as well. 
  • After 30 minutes, drain the vegetables and squeeze and shake off most of the liquid. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the liquid. 
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt, then reduce to a bare simmer. Add the lake trout fillet(s), and poach for about 5 minutes, or until the thickest part of the fish flakes easily when pressed with a spoon or fork. 
  • Remove the fish from the poaching liquid and let cool. Once cool, break into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Add the mango, onion, fish, and drained marinated vegetables to a large bowl. 
  • To make the dressing, add the garlic, chilies, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and the reserved marinade together in a small bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves. Set aside. 
  • Add the hand torn herbs to the bowl of veggies, then pour over the dressing. Toss everything together very well, making sure to remain gentle with the fish so it doesn’t fall apart too much. 
  • Transfer onto plates in a haystack-like pile. Sprinkle over crispy shallots and/or peanuts if using. Serve on its own, or as part of a larger SE Asian meal. Enjoy!

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Adam Berkelmans

Adam Berkelmans, also known as The Intrepid Eater, is a passionate ambassador for real food and a proponent of nose to tail eating. He spends his time between Ottawa and a cozy lake house north of Kingston, Ontario. When not cooking, he can be found hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening, reading, traveling, and discovering new ways to find and eat food.

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