Try Philippa Davis' Malaysian style trout with spicy sambul sauce and ginger rice for an impressive main course from across the globe

Malaysian style trout with spicy sambul sauce and ginger rice makes a delicious main from across the globe. Our culinary outlook is getting more international, and this exotic offering is guaranteed to impress your guests.

For a home-grown main with an African twist, try our plaice with ras el hanout and roasted asparagus recipe.


Sambul is a spicy Malaysian condiment that can be used for meat and vegetables or as a base for fish curries such as this.

  • 4 trout fillets, deboned
  • Sambul sauce
  • 80g ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, remove the tough tops and bottoms and any tough outer layers
  • 4 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 small red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk

Ginger rice

  • 250g white basmati
  • 20g finely chopped ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 15g coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 finely chopped spring onions

This method of cooking the rice will yield beautifully fluffy results.

To make Malaysian style trout with spicy sambul sauce, first make the sambul. Place the ginger, lemongrass, garlic cloves, turmeric, red onions, olive oil and water in a blender. Blitz for a couple of minutes until smooth. This paste can then be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

To make the ginger rice, wash the rice a couple of times to get rid of the starch, soak in warm, salted water for 30 minutes then drain well.

Boil the kettle and make a cartouche (a circle of greaseproof paper) that’s just wider than
the saucepan.

In a saucepan with a lid, fry on a medium heat the rice, ginger and garlic with some salt in the butter until everything is hot (a couple of minutes).

Pour on the boiled water so it comes just over 1cm above the rice, place on the cartouche and lid then cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low and cook for a further 4 minutes, turn off the heat but do NOT open the lid; leave to rest for 5 minutes.

Check the rice: if it’s not quite cooked enough add another splash of water, replace the cartouche and lid and
cook on a medium heat for a few more minutes.

Once cooked, stir through the coriander and spring onions, return the lid and keep warm until ready to serve.

To make the fish sauce: on a low heat, fry the sambul mix in a frying pan (wide enough to fit the fish fillets) for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly. Add the coconut milk, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for a couple more minutes.

Lay the trout skin side up in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes or until just cooked. I then like to peel off the skin before serving.

Serve the Malaysian style trout with spicy sambul sauce immediately with bowlfuls of steaming ginger rice garnished with the extra chopped coriander.