Pla Pao (Grilled Whole Fish)

    40 mins

    This is such a simple way to prepare whole fish. Serve with a variety of sauces to suit everyone's taste. Some people just put a stick in the fishes mouth, cover it with salt and grill it alive (as seen in the pictures). I prefer to gut the fish and stuff the cavity with herbs, salt it and then grill it.


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

    Serves: 5 

    • 1-1.5 kg whole pla duk or catfish, gutted
    • 200 g fine to medium grained sea salt
    • 2 stalks lemon grass, bruised
    • 1 handful sweet basil
    • 5 each lime leaf

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Get charcoal started, light enough grill a whole fish. Place the lemon grass, basil and lime leaf into the fish. Generously rub salt all around the skin of the fish. The salt should cake over the fish. Place a thin piece of bamboo into the fish so that sticks out of the mouth to act as a handle.
    2. Place the fish on a grill over the charcoal and grill fish so the skin gets hard and turns into a shell, 20 to 30 minutes depending on the intensity of the heat.
    3. Remove the fish from the grill and serve by breaking the skin back. Underneath should be hot juicy meat.

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