Thai Food Recipe: Bpla Som, Preserved Fish

Preserved Fish in Thai we call it Pla Som


1 fish (1Kg.) tilapia, carp, cyprinid
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 cup sticky rice (or steamed rice)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp. rice flour
1 egg (beat)
1 big plastic bag to pack the fish


Cooking Instructions:

1. Clean the fish very well and scrape the scales off. Cut the stomach part and throw away the inside part. Rinse out it again with a lot of water.

2. In a big bowl, mix rice flour with water. Soak the fish inside the bowl.

3. Leave it drain.

4. Soak the sticky rice with water. After that, put it over the drained fish.

5. Make sure you put some rice inside the mouth and stomach.

6. Put the fish inside plastic bag and wrap very well, with rubber band or scotch tape.

7. Leave it lay in sealed plastic container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

8. Later, keep it in refrigerator.

9. Soak it in a bowl of beaten egg before you deep fry. Don’t forget to remove the rice you see outside the fish. Leave the rice in side its mouth and stomach there. I think it will be ok.

10. Dress the fish with fried sliced garlic, fried kaffir lime leaves and fried sliced red onion.

11. Serve with hot jasmine rice.


The best place to get this food is Yasothon, Thailand in the Northeast (Isaan region). I lived there for 2 years and someone introduced it to me. That day, I had 2 big plates of rice. The smell is so strong, but always make my stomach cry asking for more! I didn’t show this recipe to my husband yet. Maybe soon!

Sawasdee Ka - Joy