Thai Sour Fish Recipe | Pla Som

Sour Fish in Thai, Pla Som!


1 fish of any kind (tilapia is recommended) scraped and clean very well
(Carp or cyprinid is the other choices) but any Fatty fish is the best.
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 cup steamed rice
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp. rice flour
1 egg (beat)
1/2 cup sliced red onion or minced garlic (fried)
4 kaffir lime leaves (fried)
4 dried chili peppers (fried)
plastic bag
plastic container


Cooking Instructions:

1. Mix rice flour with water and clean the fish with it.

2. Clean inside the mouth and stomach really well.

3. Soak steamed rice in the water and drain it.

4. Put clean fish in a big bowl and sprinkle the salt all over the fish. After that, add minced garlic, steamed rice and mix it altogether.

5. Tuck the rice into the fish mouth and stomach. Then put the fish in a plastic bag and seal it.

6. Store the fish in plastic container and seal very well. Leave the fish outside refrigerator at the room temperature for 3 days.

7. On the forth day, move it into the fridge.

8. It should be sour about this time. πŸ™‚

9. Remove all the rice that cover the fish but leave some of it inside the stomach.

10. The smell is going to be very smelly for someone but I know for Thais, we are going to finish 2 plates of rice with this recipe.

11. Dip the fish into a bowl of beaten egg then fry on medium heat while the vegetable oil is hot.

12. When you serve it, dress the fish with fried onion, fried garlic, fried chili peppers and fried kaffir lime leave. (Squeeze 1 piece of lemon if it is not sour enough)


Serve with steamed rice or sticky rice.

If the place where you live is usually cold, you should leave it in room temperature for a longer time, maybe 5 days. Make sure the fish was really clean before to process the preservation, or you will get rotten fish as a result. πŸ™‚

In Yasothon, where I lived when I was 11, they produce the Pla Som as the main product for the whole province. If there is anybody wants to buy it, they know Pla Som from Yasothon is the best. πŸ™‚

I don’t like the kind of preserved fish they made from carp. It has too many bones and really destroyed my appetite. Me and my grandma, we love the fish with fatty stomachs. πŸ™‚

Not so healthy!

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

2 thoughts on “Thai Sour Fish Recipe | Pla Som”

  1. I first tasted fried pla som at Genting Hotel’s restaurant, in southern Thailand. I love the taste and it’s a good appetizer. I will try to make it myself so that I can enjoy them at home. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe.

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