Crispy barramundi and green papaya, rice noodle salad with nuoc cham dressing

Finger lime, fragrant herbs and crisp-skinned barra are a match made in heaven – the flavours are hot, sour, salty and sweet, yet fresh.



Prep Time:

10 minutes

Cook time:

20 minutes


  • 4 barramundi fillets
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 375g dried rice noodles
  • 120g baby beans, trimmed
  • 1 green papaya shredded
  • 2/3 cup each mint, thai basil, coriander
  • 3 red shallots, thinly sliced

    Nuoc cham:

  • 2 birds-eye chillies, coarsley chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes


  • Roasted salted peanuts, coarsley chopped
  • 3 finger limes


Step 1

To make the nouc cham: pound the chilli, garlic and sugar in a mortar and pestle to a paste. Add lime juice, fish sauce and 1/4 cup hot water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Check the flavours – the sauce should be a balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet. Squeeze in the finger lime pearls, stir to combine and set aside.

Step 2

Cook the noodles in a large pan of boiling water for 5-6 mins until just tender, adding the beans in the last minute or two of cooking. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add the papaya, herbs and shallot, drizzle with a little nuoc cham and toss to combine.

Step 3

Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Season barramundi all over with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and rub into the skin and flesh.

Step 4

Place barramundi, skin-side down in the heated pan and cook for 6 mins, turn and cook for another 7mins. Transfer to a plate to rest for 2 mins.

Step 5

Divide noodle salad among serving bowls and top each with a piece of crispy barramundi. Scatter with peanuts then squeeze over the finger lime pearls. Serve with extra nuoc cham to drizzle.