Pla Rad Prig (Thai Fried Fish with Tamarind Sauce) | Morsels of Life

Pla Rad Prig (Thai Fried Fish with Tamarind Sauce)

Since I had already made the Thai sticky coconut rice and crispy fish topping, and I still had some tamarind sauce, I thought I could add to the Thai theme and make some fish using tamarind sauce. The resulting fish had quite an interesting flavor profile - sweet, spicy, and sour, all mixed together. But then, Thai cuisine is known for its balance of flavors, ranging from sweet to salty to spicy to sour, and even bitter. I've never actually had pla rad prig, so I can't comment on how this recipe compares, but it certainly did have a sweet, sour, and spicy taste profile. In fact, the flavors kind of remind me of hot and sour soup. Based on my research, pla gow is the fish traditionally used in this dish, but I have never seen a fish with that name, nor did I find any consistent translations, aside from a white fish, so I thought I would use flounder. I also didn't want leftovers, so instead of a whole fish, I only used 2 fillets. As a result, I don't think I got the full benefit of this dish since I couldn't fry the fillets with the skin on like you can with a whole fish. I'll go into the methods for both ways below, and you can choose which best suits your needs/wants!

Crispy Thai style fried fish with a sweetly hot and sour tamarind sauce.


Mass Weight Volume Number Material Notes
1 tablespoon tamarind sauce
2.5 tablespoons sugar
1 shallot, chopped Or 1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 flounder fillets
cilantro optional
chili peppers, minced I used 2 serrano peppers since I didn't have any Thai peppers on hand.


  1. Fry the fish on low heat. If you're using a whole fish, score the fish at an angle to help it cook faster and crispier.
  2. After the first side is cooked, flip the fish over and fry the other side. The crispiness of the fish can be increased by putting it in the oven while making the sauce.
  3. Add garlic, shallot/onion, and pepper to heated oil, and cook until fragrant.
  4. Mix in tamarind sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and if needed, water, and bring mixture to a boil. Taste the sauce and adjust as needed. The sauce should be sweetly spicy and a bit sour. 
  5. Once sauce is adjusted to desired flavor, pour it over the fish and garnish or sprinkle some cilantro on top.

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