Thai Three Flavors Fish, 'Pla Lat'

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A traditional treatment for fish that simply contrasts sweet, hot and sour flavor elements. This is traditionally cooked in a large deep wok, though unlike pla jian it is cooked at very high heat. Therefore we caution you to use a large skillet or an electric deep fryer and ensure that the peanut oil is smoking.

First the simple part: deep fry about a pound of mackerel or whiting, preferably with the heads on, in smoking hot peanut oil until the skin is crisp. Place it on a serving platter.

Sauce ingredients

2 tablespoons chopped shallots (purple onions)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Thai chile peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish stock, or you may use chicken stock


In a small saucepan, saute the garlic and shallots in a little oil, then remove and set aside.

Pour off the oil, leaving only a thin film on the pan.

Return half the shallots and garlic to the pan, and add the other ingredients. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then simmer to thicken the sauce. Add the remaining shallots and garlic, stir until heated through, then pour it over the grilled fish.

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