Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fish with Thai Herbs (Pla Pad Cha)

Thai Translation: Pla = Fish, Pad = Stir Fry, Cha = Sizzle

This spicy and fragrant dish is one of my favourite dishes to eat and cook. It is one dish that is bound to impress even the pickiest of eaters. Made with fresh fish that is carefully stir-fried with a fantastic mix of galangal, green peppercorns, lemongrass and chilli. A touch of chilli paste, some eggplants and some rice make this dish just incredible to make, look at and of course eat!

Cooking time: 10 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

300g white fish fillets
1 cup mixed thai eggplants (small and egg sized)
2-6 small red chilli's (depending on taste preference)
1 inch piece galangal
3 green peppercorn stems
5 stems thai basil
3 cloves garlic
1 stem lemongrass
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 Tbsp red curry paste
3 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup flour
Extra vegetable oil for frying


  1. Cut your fish into inch square pieces and lightly dust with cornflour.
  2. Heat some oil in a wok and when it is smoking, quickly fry the pieces of fish til they begin to brown. Place on paper towels to drain oil.
  3. Prepare your vegetables for the dish. Wash and cut eggplants into bite sized pieces, finely dice the chilli, lemongrass and garlic, and finely slice the kaffir lime leaves and galangal.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, chilli and lemongrass and cook until fragrant
  5. Carefully add the fish to the pan plus the galangal and curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the peppercorns and eggplants and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften.
  6. Add seasonings to the wok - fish sauce, oyster sauce, and palm sugar to the wok and stir well to combine.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes then stir through the basil leaves.
  8. Serve fish with steamed rice or sticky rice.

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