Thailand – Yam Pla Doo Foo

by Fauzan Anandika

As a tourist, visiting Thailand is like a world of wonder. A country known as The Land of White Elephant makes every tourist wondering if Thailand has so many white elephants? Are those elephant albinos or have different genes?

The Asian elephant has become a Thai symbol since ancient times. This incredible animal is recognized as part of the kingdom’s identity. Elephants have played a significant role in Thai history, it also has a special place in the Buddhist and Hindoo spiritual. In 1900, Thailand has more than 100.000 elephants, but unfortunately, after a century they have lost most of their elephant. There only 4.000 elephants left in Thailand today. In the past, the Thai Kingdom use elephants during the war with the Burmese. The more the king owns an elephant, the bigger power and authority he has.

The king elephant, not an albino, and some of them still have a gray color. For Thai people, the white elephant means the elephant has become something spectacular and prestigious despite its actual price. The white elephant only can be seen in the kingdom ceremony since they become a sacred animal protected by Thai law. According to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre, there are six male and four female elephants under the Royal Elephant Stable supervision.

Besides elephants, Thailand is also known for its freshwater fish. Some of the Thai cultivate freshwater fish and sell it on the local market. Several Thai foods use freshwater fish. One of them is Yam Pla Dook Foo. A dish is known as a deep-fried catfish with mango salad. From the food name, we can imagine the taste. It will have a sweet, spicy, and sour taste in every bite. 

Yam Pla Doo Foo usually serves with a plate of warm rice or sticky rice. To cook this Thai dish is quite simple, and the ingredient also easy to find. For those who love Thai food, Yam Pla Doo Foo will be your best choice to cook dinner menu variations. Well, it’s time to grab your cookware and make some Yam Pla Doo Foo.

This recipe is for 4 portions serving size.

Main ingredient 

  • 1 piece of catfish with 500-gram size, grilled
  • 20 gram of roasted peanut 
  • 80 ml of vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce

Salad ingredient

  • 100 gram of green mango, thin sliced
  • 3 pieces of shallot, thin sliced
  • 10 ml of fish sauce
  • 10 ml of lime juice, made from squeezing 3 lime
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 15 gram of palm sugar
  • 5 grams of dried shrimp, chopped
  • 10 bird eye chilies, sliced
  • 10 gram of coriander leaves, chopped

Salad preparation

  1. Prepare mortar and pestle.
  2. Grind bird eye chilies and palm sugar until they become a paste.
  3. Add fish sauce and lime juice, stir until finely mixed.
  4. Remove the paste into a medium bowl.
  5. Add shallot, dried shrimp, and mango.
  6. Garnish the salad with coriander leaves.

Fried fish preparation

  1. Cut the catfish into small parts.
  2. Marinate with salt and soy sauce.
  3. Steam for 5 minutes, set aside.
  4. After the fish become warm, remove it into linen cloth.
  5. Squeeze to remove all the containing water.
  6. Remove the fish into a mortar and grind it with a pestle.
  7. Heat vegetable oil until 200-degree Celsius in a frying pan.
  8. Pick one tablespoon of fish and deep-fried it until crispy.
  9. Remove with a slotted skimmer. 
  10. Put it into the tissue to remove the oil.
  11. Place the fish on a serving plate.
  12. Top it with roasted peanut.
  13. Yam Pla Dook Foo ready to be served with a side of warm rice.
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