Sunshine on a plate

karen pic

Posted on: 9th February, 2015

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

By the time that you read this recipe we will be at home and back to work at the shop but right now I am on a plane travelling up to Bangkok.

It’s a crazy looking plane, twin propellers and painted like a bird. It’s quite old fashioned and doesn’t fly very high but it does give out free snacks. Very civilised!

We have had quite an adventure, travelled thousands of kilometres by planes, trains and boats and discovered some great new recipes.

I figure I have 14 more trees to plant when I get home. Four for each of the long haul flights and one each for all the shorter hops!

We spent our last week on a small island in Thailand, no electricity, no roads, no retail therapy. We slept in a bamboo hut beside the ocean and enjoyed swinging in the hammocks listening to the sea.

The family that owns the ‘bungalows’ looked after everything. They got up early and swept the paths and the beach to clear it of fallen leaves and made delicious home cooked food anytime we asked.

The food is quite simple, very fresh and spicy. The seafood is freshly landed and there is plenty of fruit, vegetables and herbs.

One night we were offered barracuda with ‘green apple sauce’, which sounded intriguing…

The green apple sauce wasn’t even remotely related to the type of apple sauce that we are used to eating in Ireland. It was fresh and zippy, laced with toasted cashew nuts and absolutely yummy.

I think the sauce would go well with most fish – cod, hake, salmon etc. Try to get fat fillets rather than the tail for this recipe

Thai Fish will Green Apple Salsa

serves 2


• 300g fish divided into 2 portions

• 2 limes

• 1 large granny smith apple

• 1 carrot

• 2 cloves garlic

• 1-2 small red chillies

• 50g cashew nuts

• a handful of chopped mint

• 2tbs Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce)

• 1 dsp sugar

• a little oil for frying


• Juice the limes and put in a bowl.

• Wash the apple, cut into thin slices then into a skinny julienne/ matchsticks and put directly into the lime juice and toss to prevent the apple from discolouring.

• Peel the carrot, cut into thin slices then into a skinny julienne and add to the apple.

• Peel the garlic and chop finely.

• Chop the chilli finely.

• Mix the chilli and garlic with the apple and stir in the sugar, mint and nam pla/fish sauce

• Heat a small frying pan and add enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan then add the cashew nuts and cook on a medium heat until golden. Drain onto a piece of kitchen paper.

• Season the fish with a little salt and pepper. Wipe the pan clean and add a little fresh oil and fry the fish for a three to four minutes on each side, depending on the size of your piece of fish. If it’s firm to touch it should be cooked.

• Place the fish on a warm plate, quickly toss the cashews through the sauce and pile on top of the fish. Guaranteed to bring a little sunshine into your life!

It’s going to be quite a shock to land back in Ireland but we’re well armed with a good dose of sun and looking forward to the spring.

The cooking classes begin on February 21, kicking off with some new Spring Recipes to liven up your daily repertoire with some tasty ideas for dinners, salads and soups

We will also have a Fish, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese/Thai/SE Asian, Healthy Vegetarian and a Salad and Herb class.

Please contact us if you are interested or would like more details. You can drop into the shop, Lettercollum KItchen Project, 22 Connolly Street, Clonakilty or email

Latest News Articles:

Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence
St. Joseph’s in Clonakilty looks back on 50 years of educating young girls
‘Operation Transformation’ for Young Beef Farmers
Macra President welcomes publication of EU Young Farmer Survey
Vital role of Focus in the West Cork community highlighted at Open Morning
Clonakilty Food Company opens new production facility in Clonakilty
Beara student one of three Cork students awarded €20,000 scholarship by Naughton Foundation
International success for Skibb rowers

Join us on Facebook

Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at or text at 086/0476124.
... See MoreSee Less

26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
... See MoreSee Less

7th September, 2017  ·  

Jump to: