Aunty Pen’s Crispy Whole Fish with Thai Chili Sauce

Pla Lard Prik is a classic Thai dish and one of my favorites. I just love the crunchiness of the fish that goes so well with the sweet and spicy, tangy sauce that it is smothered with. This is Aunty Pen’s recipe for her version of Pla Lard Prik, which was pretty spectacular.

You can use any kind of fleshy, cleaned whole fish such as stripped bass, red snapper and so on.


Serves 4


1 whole fish such as striped bass or red snapper (use any whole white flesh fish)

4 tablespoons of chopped galangal

6-7 fine chopped red, green, yellow larger chili peppers (the ones that are not too spicy)

8 cloves of garlic chopped fine

3 tablespoons of palm sugar

¾ cup of tamarind paste

½ teaspoon dark soya sauce

2 teaspoons of fish sauce


  • Wash, clean and pat dry the whole fish.
  • Dust it with flour.
  • Steam or deep fry the whole fish and set aside on a platter when done.

  • Combine the chopped garlic and colored chopped chilies with about 2 tablespoons of oil. (You can even chop the chilies and the garlic together in a mini food prep)

  • In a saucepan heat the above garlic/chili/oil mixture and the chopped galangal.
  • Cook for a minute and then add 3 tablespoons of palm sugar.
  • Cook it for about 2 minutes.
  • Add ¾ cup of tamarind paste, fish sauce and dark Soya sauce.
  • Boil this mixture on medium heat for about 7-8 minutes till it is thick.

  • Place a little of the garlic chili sauce on the base of the serving platter then place the fish on top and then pour the rest of the sauce on top off and around the fish.
  • Serve hot with white jasmine rice.

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