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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thai-Style Catfish - Plah Toht Kamin



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm told that plah toht kamin is a native Thai dish. I can't speak to the veracity of that because each time I've had the dish it was made by a French chef who was plying his trade in Southeast Asia. Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and, to a lesser degree, Vietnam seem to be magnets for French chefs. I suspect there are more of them in Southeast Asia than there are in France. The fusion of wonderful native cuisine with French technique and talent makes for some fascinating meals, and what native and French chefs are able to do with fish is really amazing. While most of the food we had in Asia was wonderful, our best meals in China were vegetarian and our best meals in Southeast Asia were fish or shellfish. I stopped by the fish market today to see what was available and found some gorgeous looking catfish fillets at bargain prices. I was determined to sidestep my usual blackened preparation and come up with something that, for us, would be new. I remembered the turmeric fried catfish we had in Thailand and Laos and set out to reproduce it. We had a lovely meal this evening. Fish prepared in this manner is really easy to make and can be on the table in about 30 minutes. The only remotely exotic ingredients are turmeric and fish sauce and they can be found in most large supermarkets. Bob really enjoyed this, so it will make an encore performance at the table in the next few weeks. I served the fillets with a Thai cucumber relish and sticky rice. I hope you'll try this. It is remarkably good. Here's the recipe.

Thai-Style Catfish - Plah Toht Kamin...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped shallot or scallion
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
1-1/4 pounds catfish fillets
Flour for dredging fish
Optional: Thai chili-lime sauce dipping sauce

Directions:
1) Place garlic, shallots, turmeric, sugar, pepper, salt, fish sauce and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the bowl of a small food processor. Process to a fairly smooth paste, using a small amount of water if necessary to bring ingredients together. Combine fish fillets and turmeric paste in medium bowl or baking dish, turning fillets to coat evenly with marinade. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature. The fillets can be marinated for up to 24 hours if covered and refrigerated.
2) Place about 1 cup of flour in a pie plate or cake pan. Dredge fillets in flour, shaking off excess. Heat reserved 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan set over medium-high heat. When a drop of water sizzles in pan, add fillets and cook, turning once, for 5 to 7 minutes depending on thickness of fillets. Be careful when turning. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with a Thai dipping sauce if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

Chili-Lime Sauce:

Ingredients:
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh hot green chilies
1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro

Directions:
Combine fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and garlic in a small bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle with chilies and cilantro. Set aside. Best served at room temperature.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Relish from One Perfect Bite
Thai Cucumber Relish from One Perfect Bite
Thai Fresh Pea Soup with Green Curry from One Perfect Bite

39 comments :

Alea said...

I have been trying to work more fish into our diet and this looks like an appetizing way to do it.

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

A fantastic recipe Mary dear with a asweet pic too.....

Mary said...

I love any kind of fish recipe and this sounds wonderful! Great job on the recreation - you are so talented!!

BTW, I have been lurking at that blog you told us about - A Tea Party for My Mother. Don't quite know how to just introduce myself yet - seems sort of awkward. Her experience is so reminiscent of the time of my own mother's last days - she will be happy that she documented these days. Thanks for passing that on. Hugs.

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, my hubby would never eat this, but I will be making it for me and Allie. Looks wonderful, not to mention quick and easy! Thanks for sharing
xoxo Pattie

Chef E said...

Oh this sounds so great, who knew growing up in the south in Texas, fishing with my father, and eating catfish so much that other countries adored it as well...this is a keep Mary!

Debinhawaii said...

It looks like a dish with a lot of flavor and some of my favorite ingredients too. ;-)

Puna said...

Thank you for featuring some Thai food. This is a staple of ours.

Joanne said...

I think Thai food has to be one of my favorite cuisines and yet I never make it! This sounds absolutely delicious, love the breading on the catfish and that sauce...YUM.

Janine said...

Looks fabulous...

Bellini Valli said...

I imagine this technique would work for so many different fish when catfish is not available...delicious!

zurin said...

I LOVE fish and that looks amazing! I keep the recipe for sure! TQ ^^

Cathy said...

I just saw catfish in the market yesterday, Mary. This looks delicious, especially with the chili lime sauce.

George Gaston said...

Mary, down here in Georgia, catfish is a staple on many a menu. But I have never seen it prepared with your creativity. This looks absolutely delicious. I can't wait to try and duplicate your incredible dish. Many thanks...

♥ Kathy said...

I'm an odd one. I'll cook lake fish but I won't eat it. I WILL eat anything out of the ocean though!

Claudia said...

My husband would adore this - always looking for more fish - and we get a lot of fresh lake fish- although right now - you need to dig a hole in the ice to catch them! Love the fusion of French and Asian - scrumptious.

Shellbelle said...

Mary, fish is my favorite meal and catfish is my favorite fish. Being a Southerner, I usually pan-fry it and serve with grits and butter beans. As a treat I will fry it once in while for breakfast with grits, eggs and hot sauce.

I need to step out of the box sometimes and since I LOVE Thai food and since I have all of these ingredients, I know I will be making this dish!

Kim said...

What a wonderful and flavorful way to serve fish. This looks delicious:D

From the Kitchen said...

If I have to ever choose my last meal, it will be Thai! Spicy, salty, sweet--lovely! We have Arun's (in Chicago) where, for $85, one can have a scrumptious 12-course Thai meal. We have Five Star Thai (right in the suburbs) where, for around $8, one can get any number of scrumptious dishes, plus a visit with the owners and other frequent customer/friends. I have a whole collection of Thai cookbooks just in case Five Star decides to "retire". So far, I haven't used them but I'm going to give your catfish recipe a try. It looks delicious. Thanks!

Bridgett said...

My husband would love this! You really have some of the most gorgeous photos.

Barbara said...

Catfish is a family favorite. I've never cooked much Thai food before but this looks like an amazing way to serve catfish. And not too involved either. Sometimes Thai cooking takes a million ingredients and most of them are not readily available.
Looks wonderful, Mary!

The Blonde Duck said...

I could live on catfish.

noble pig said...

I rarely buy catfish and often forget about it but this has reminded me how wonderful it can be.

Bob said...

That looks stunning. I need to try it.

DailyChef said...

Love your introduction. I also love catfish..haven't had it in way too long. Thanks for the wonderful recipe--hope to try it soon!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I love Thai food flavors. This one has my attention. I need to cook more fish, so this is a good one to do so. Thanks!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I love Thai flavours, and French!
This looks totally delicious.

Chatty Crone said...

I have been trying to add more fish too - have to admit it is real hard for me. This looks good though. sandie

xinex said...

I love Thai food, espcially spicy ones....Christine

Curious Lissa said...

Love this b/c catfish is perfect in Asian dishes. Love fish with asian flavors.

g said...

In LA our local Thai restaurants do a fried fish fillet dish they serve with a sweet-sour salad made of green apples - quite similar to this, and delicious.

It's so hard to fry things properly - I'm kind of afraid to do it.

Have you tried some of these new fryers that use very little oil? I've been reading about them.

Jamie said...

Oooh Mary I have some serious catching up to do here all starting with this fabulous-looking catfish. I rarely cook fish - it just scares me! This looks so delicious and the list of ingredients seems rather simple! And yum chili-lime sauce! Exquisite!

My Little Space said...

Wow, such a fascinating recipe! Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

g, I've seen them but haven't given them much thought. Not because I don't think they'd be helpful. Space is at a real premium in my kitchen.

pigpigscorner said...

Love the flavours! So appetising.

ArchaeologyAnna said...

I will have to make this! Our local thai restaurant has a similar one and I was wondering how they made it. Thanks for commenting on my food blog! I love yours, and I was able to find several others I really liked from your recommended blog list!

Ana Powell said...

Hi Mary
Thank you very much for your visit.
I find your work awesome, beautiful photos and delicious recipes.
Your Thai catfish looks absolutely yummy.
Fantastic work.
Wishing you a great weekend x

Katy ~ said...

Love the flavors in the sauce. Can see it useful on other seafood as well. Thank you for this.

Create. Snap. Eat. said...

Hi Mary! I was doing a search for Thai curry catfish and came upon this posting! I hope you are well.

Pamela S said...

This one goes in my "Make Again" file. We both really liked it a lot. Thanks for the recipe!
Pamela

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