Pla chorn yang sep (Northeastern roasted whole serpent head fish with a fragrant sauce)

    50 mins

    This lovely roasted whole fish is great for entertaining because the presentation is striking. The sauce uses an unusual herb called culantro in English and "pak chi farang" in Thai. It has long, tapered, saw-toothed leaves that taste similar to coriander. If unable to find, use coriander as a substitute. This recipe also calls for pla chorn, aka serpent head fish, a freshwater fish found only in SE Asia, you can substitute trout, barramundi or even tilapia.


    Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon), Thailand
    1 person made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 600-700g whole pla chorn (serpent head fish), gutted and scaled
    • For the sauce
    • 2 shallots, sliced thin
    • 3 blades pak chi farang, aka culantro
    • 2 tablespoons toasted ground rice
    • 1 tablespoon ground roasted dry chillies
    • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 2 limes, juiced

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Prepare a charcoal grill.
    2. Make 3-4 diagonal slices along each side of the fish.
    3. Barbecue the fish over the coals slowly until is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
    4. To make the sauce, mix the shallots, pak chi farang, toasted rice, chillies, fish sauce and lime juice.
    5. Pour this sauce over the fish and serve.

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