Pad ped pla dhuk

Spicy catfish
Ever wondered what to do with a catfish? This traditional Thai recipe is 
useful if you have a fisherperson in the family. 

Note the oil for cooking should be *HOT*. In view of this it is probably 
a good idea if the slightly nervous stirfry chef cooks this in a skillet 
with a lid! 

Lesser Ginger (called krachai in Thai) is a thin tuberous cousin of 
normal ginger, which will do if you can't get krachai. normal ginger 
should be grated rather than sliced. 

You need about a pound of catfish, cut through the body into "steaks" 
about half to one inch thick. 


half cup thai eggplant (small round green eggplants) 
6-10 cloves garlic, crushed, chopped or mashed 
2 stalks lemon grass (about 2-3" long), bruised 
quarter cup very thinly sliced lesser ginger 
half cup sweet basil, chopped 
quarter cup fish sauce 
1 tablespoon palm sugar 

you can if you wish add a few sliced chilis. 


Combine the suace ingredients. 

In a wok (see caveat above) get enough oil to shallow fry the fish 
smoking hot. Add the fish and stir until thoroughly coated with oil, 
then add the prepared sauce (caution, it can splash - you may want to 
wear eye-protection, or make judicious use of a splatter guard). Stir 
fry for about 2-3 minutes, ensuring the fish doesn't stick to the pan 
and the pieces are all thoroughly sauced. 

Remove to a serving dish and serve with steamed jasmine rice. The usual 
Thai table condiments apply (i.e. red chillis in vinegar, green chillis 
in fish sauce, powdered red chilli and sugar) 

Final caution: this cooks quite quickly - don't over cook it or the fish 
will become rather hard! It is cooked when you can pry the flesh from 
the central bone stem of the steak using the tip of a table knife 
without undue effort.
Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.