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    Sweet Chilli, Lemon and Coriander Salad

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    Sweet Chilli, Lemon and Coriander Salad

    I sometimes use this as a garnish for breadcrumbed or floured fried fish, but it also makes a delicious relish for ham or other cold meats. The juxtaposition of the aromatic coriander leaves with sweet, hot and sour flavours is a bit of a tease.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus chilling
    • Total time: 30 minutes, plus chilling 30 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 2 level tbsp granulated sugar
    • 12 black peppercorns
    • 1 star anise
    • 3 large red chillies, deseeded and sliced thinly
    • 4 large lemons
    • 4 salad onions or small white onions, sliced very thinly
    • Handful of coriander sprigs
    • 2 tbsp olive oil


    1. Put the sugar in a small pan along with 250ml water and stir to dissolve. Add the peppercorns, star anise and chillies and heat to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat.
    2. While the syrup is cooling a little, segment the lemons neatly into a bowl. To do this, cut the top and bottom off each lemon with a very sharp knife. Stand the lemon on one cut end and then carefully pare away the skin and the white pith in a series of cuts; finally, slice out the segments by cutting close to each membrane. Remove any pips.
    3. Pour the thin, spiced syrup over the lemon segments, leave to cool completely, and chill. When ready to serve, spoon the lemon segments, chilli and spices into a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp of the remaining syrup (you shouldn't need the rest), scatter with the sliced onions and coriander leaves, and drizzle with olive oil.

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