How To Cook Fish In Thailand

It seems an obvious thing to say but the food in Thailand is one of the tastiest cuisines in the world. We’ve all heard how good it is and those of us lucky enough to try it all agree that it is, in technical terms, ‘yummy, yummy in my tummy’. Despite my fondness for not feeling hungry I’ve never written a blog about Thai food…(music begins to swell)…until now. Strap yourself in and prepare to find out how to cook a fish in Thailand.

But, First…

But lets back track a second. How did someone so interesting, intellectual, with a penchant for inventive verbal humour and stories come to be writing a blog about food?

Well it all started on Thursday evening when the Thai government announced that the nationwide alcohol ban imposed three weeks ago would last until the end of May. I am not a big drinker, 8 or 9 tins of larger and 4 chasers are all I need for a calming evening, (that was humour), but the thought of being stuck in the house with nothing to do had my heart rate rising from 67 beats per minute to a whopping 71.

(I usually average about 62 beats per minute but this isn’t a time for me to be showing off).


I’m still struggling to understand why the sale of the sweet nectar has been banned here. I think it’s probably because everyone is having parties that I am not invited to. Is everyone in Thailand getting drunk without me? The wife must have sensed a rising tension in my broken soul and quickly began researching how to make our own alcohol. Within roughly 6 minutes we decided that we were expert brewers and that making our own source would be an absolute doddle.

The following morning we were at the local supermarket wondering what yeast looked like and would it really matter if we didn’t add any. Having decided that yeast was one of the top 5 ingredients in making alcohol we wandered around until we finally decided to ask a member of staff where it was shelved – we were on our way!

But, Fish

To soften the blow of us having to wait a couple of weeks for fermentation to take place and provide what will surely be a light, zesty and subtle tipple we decided that we would treat ourselves to fine dining. Now, I am not a big fish eater but the fish in Thailand has always been delicious and when the wife announced that she was going to cook some that very night my heart skipped up to 72 beats per minutes (possibly 73).

So here are my tips on how to cook fish in Thailand.

Buy Some Fish

The first thing you need to do when cooking fish is to buy some. Personally I find that a shop that’s open is the best kind. It also helps if the shop actually sells fish. Don’t make the same mistake as me and ask for fish in Tiffany’s the jewellers.

Once you have found a shop that is open and sells fish, you can now really move towards actually cooking one. There are many varieties of fish to choose from but I tend to go for the ones that are dead. You can buy live ones but they are harder to control when trying to add them to a frying pan.

This is the one we picked.

Our Fish

Not wearing any footwear whilst cooking fish isn’t a must but as you can see, we enjoy cooking fish barefoot. Also, as a side note, this is not how the fish looked when it was alive – it is cut in half so as to fit in our pan.

How To Cook Fish In Thailand

When it comes to actually cooking the fish, I personally find that heating it really helps. We did this buy warming a frying pan up with some oil in it. There are no set rules on what type of frying pan to use but we went for the Mr DIY Premium pan. Mr DIY is a cheap shop in Thailand where you can buy everything and it’s really cheap. I’ve bought many things from Mr DIY including bed side alarm clocks and lamps. All of them lasted anything up to a week before breaking which is a great deal when you think I paid around 80 pence for each item.

So once the pan is heated you can add the fish to it.

A Warming Fish

Keep Cooking

Then, keep cooking it on a high setting. I can’t remember how hot our hob was so just guess. If the fish is not cooking, then I would suggest turning the heat up a bit. Keep cooking it and turn it over at regular intervals, making sure to cook both sides. (Pro Tip) If you don’t turn it over, it will only cook on side.

Finish Cooking

Once the fish is cooked, stop cooking it. This is an often overlooked part of cooking fish but it is vital for taste. If you’re not sure when you should stop cooking the fish, stare at it util it goes black. It should look something akin to this…

A very warm fish

And voila – a cooked fish.


When we returned from the shop with our fish and yeast we realised that we had forgotten to buy some sugar which apparently is a bit important for brewing – who knew?! Later that night, with the lovely fish now swimming around our belly’s we heard on the news that the alcohol ban is to be lifted in two days time.

Tears were shed.

But…we have decided to not let the fact that alcohol is readily available to buy distract us from our mission to make delicious alcohol, so look out for further posts about that – it’s going to be beautiful.

So that’s how to cook fish in Thailand. Thanks for reading.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Rivergirl says:

    A ban on alcohol?
    No amount of hot chopped in half fish can fix that.

    1. A blog about me making my own alcohol is on the way!!!!!!!!

      1. Rivergirl says:

        I await with bated breath.

  2. The Husband says:

    Pro-Tip: you can tell the difference between a dead fish and a live one, by giving the fish a quick poke in the eye. If the fish doesn’t react, it’s most probably dead (most fish are very poor actors, which is why you don’t see them on TV. Jaws was the exception). If the fish responds to your overly aggressive eye prod, then it’s alive, and you should feel bad for poking a fish in the eye.
    I learned this from a bloke down the pub, who says he knows a fishmonger.

    1. But what if it’s just stunned and not dead at all? It could be pining for the lakes.

  3. I prefer it if my fish isn’t smiling up at me when I’m digging into it, but perhaps I’m just squeamish. Now that you have yeast, you can got ahead and make beer, or try your hand at bread. Don’t make the same mistake I did and skip the 2nd and 3rd risings, just to save hours of time. They are actually critical. Frankly, I don’t have the patience for bread-making, so I leave that up to the husband. (I hate beer, which is why I’m pushing bread, by the way.)

    1. Bread is a waste of yeast if it makes booze!

  4. I will be your stellar advice to the test tonight as I eye off a couple of pieces of salmon. Unlike your fish, it can’t eye me back! Bon appetit!

    1. I am sure by following my wise words you had a delightful meal?

      1. Yes – absolutely delicious! You have missed your calling! 😉

      2. Story of my life 😄

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