Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thai cuisine - whole fish baked in salt and herbs

Tilapia stuffed with oyster sauce, sesame oil, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, then coated with coarse sea salt on both sides. Grilled in the oven at 180C for about 20 mins. 
Instead of dry and flaky as you sometimes get with baked or grilled fish, this baby came out massively moist as if it was steamed. We finished it before the rice was boiled!

I talked about this last week in a post on using Western cooking method for Asian cuisine.

You can use high end Atlantic sea salt like the one I used when I cured salmon or just any coarse salt which is inexpensive. I bought 3kg coarse sea salt from the market this morning for a mere $2.

Match this fish with a typical Basic Thai salad dressing. You can also use this dressing for glass noodle salad, beef salad or steam crab and fish, so it's worth learning and doing.

Oh, the best part of this dish is the washing up, or the lack of it. Just wrap the mess up and junk it!

Basic Thai salad dressing:
4 fresh red chilli
2 garlic cloves
1 pickle garlic (garlic marinated in vinegar, sugar, salt)
2 coriander root
3 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar (I used honey instead)
3 Tbsp water or white vinegar (water to dilute spiciness but will shorten shelf life of your dressing. Vinegar will extend shelf life for longer usage.)

Serve grilled fish with this sauce, smile and say Korp Kunp Karp. Or share this with a friend so you can do it together! Remember to write back to me and tell me all about it.

See also how my mom makes a 10-minute whole fish dish.


  1. Tastes better than it looks! Hope you'll try it some day.

  2. Hi EVC,

    Do you remove the fish scales?

    1. No, don't remove the scales so the salt wont get into the flesh. With the scales on, it makes removal of the salt very easy, just rip off the whole piece at one go.

    2. It turned out to be delicious! Thanks, EVC!:)

    3. That's so great to hear! Leave me a name so I don't have to call you Anonymous!

    4. Just one letter off from EVC. My name is Eva. Easy to remember.

    5. Hi Eva! I'm glad you like the recipe! Keep trying the different recipes here and always let me know! Cheers.


Tell me what you think. I want to know.