Chef's Recipes

Hot-smoked red emperor and pink pomelo miang

Australian Gourmet Traveller chefs' recipe for hot-smoked red emperor and pink pomelo miang by Nick Holloway from Nu Nu restaurant

By Nick Holloway
  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking
Hot-smoked red emperor and pink pomelo miang
Hot-smoked red emperor and pink pomelo miang

“My wife and I were really impressed with Nu Nu’s smoked red emperor with green papaya relish on a betel leaf. Would Nick Holloway share the recipe?”
Cameron Hardiman, Surrey Hills, Vic

To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, , GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


  • 120 gm hot-smoked red emperor or kingfish fillet, finely flaked (see note)
  • 30 gm shredded green papaya (1/3 cup)
  • 2 small green chillies, thinly sliced crossways
  • 1-2 long red chillies, seeds removed thinly sliced lengthways
  • 45 gm pink pomelo flesh, flaked (¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 12 betel leaves (see note)
  • 1 tbsp salmon roe
Miang paste
  • 15 gm raw peanuts
  • 10 gm hot smoked red emperor (see note)
  • 1 tsp finely grated galangal
  • ½ cup finely grated fresh coconut
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1½ small green chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 250 gm light palm sugar, coarsely chopped
  • 30 ml fish sauce, or to taste
  • 30 ml tamarind water (see note), or to taste


  • 1
    For miang paste, preheat oven to 160C. Roast peanuts, fish and galangal separated on an oven tray until golden (5-10 minutes), cool. Reduce oven to 140C. Scatter coconut on a separate oven tray and roast, stirring, until golden (about 10 minutes), cool. Combine garlic, chillies and ½ tsp salt in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound to a smooth paste. Add roasted ingredients (except coconut) and pound to a fine paste. Meanwhile, combine palm sugar and 100ml water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, covered, until sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes). Add paste, roast coconut and fish sauce, and boil gently until thick and fragrant (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat, add tamarind water and check for seasoning (it should be a balance of sweet, salty and sour; add more sugar, fish sauce or tamarind water if necessary). Makes 1 cup. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
  • 2
    In a bowl combine red emperor and 1/3 cup miang paste, add papaya and chillies, gently toss to combine, then add pomelo, coriander and kaffir lime. Drizzle with half the lime juice and taste for seasoning, it should be a balance of hot, sweet, salty and sour. Add extra chilli and lime juice if desired.
  • 3
    Divide miang among betel leaves. Scatter with fried shallots and garlic, salmon roe, basil flowers and cress and serve immediately.


Hot-smoked red emperor is available from Pantacchini’s Seafood Wholesaler. Substitute with hot-smoked kingfish or river trout. For tamarind water, soak 50gm tamarind pulp in 50ml water, strain and discard pulp. Fried shallots and garlic are available from Asian grocers.

  • Author: Nick Holloway