Make the dressing:
Peel away the hard outer stems of the lemongrass stalks until you reach the inner white and purple section. Halve the stalks lengthwise and then slice them crosswise into 2-inch lengths. Rinse, dry, and then bruise lightly with the side of a large knife or cleaver. Peel the galangal or ginger, cut it into chunks, and bruise it; set it aside with the lemongrass. Bring the anchovies and the water to a boil; cook until the anchovies begin to fall apart, about 10 minutes (2 minutes if using oil-packed anchovies). Add the lemongrass, galangal or ginger, sugar, shallots, and lime leaves or zest. Boil until the liquid turns syrupy and sticky, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat; set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Strain the dressing and discard the strainer contents. You should have about 1/2 cup of dressing.
Assemble the salad:
On a large platter, arrange four dome-shaped mounds of rice.
Mold four mounds of rice, using a bnowl to get a good dome shape.
Between the mounds, arrange the green beans, endive, arugula, bean sprouts, and green mango or Granny Smith apple. Arrange a couple of small piles of minced lemongrass and minced smoked fish in between. Sprinkle with the coconut flakes, lime leaves or zest, and orange zest. Put the dried chile powder in a tiny sauce bowl at one end of the platter. Arrange lime wedges all around.
Arrange the main salad ingredients in alternating piles.
Sprinkle with the coconut flakes, lime leaves, or zest, and orange zest.
To serve, present the platter and then pour the dressing all over the ingredients on the platter. Sprinkle with the amount of chile powder you desire, reserving some for those who want more. Squeeze the lime wedges over all. Toss thoroughly and serve.
Toss gently and thoroughly to blend all the flavors and textures.
nutrition information (per serving):
sat fat g
Photo: Amy Albert