Ubon Ratchathani | Thailand

Kak´s Spicy Catfish Salad – Larb Pla Duk

Recipe for 4 people


  • 4 young catfish (approx. 20cm long)
  • 400 grams of glutinous rice (soaked for at least 3 hours beforehand)
  • 1 bunch Limnophila aromatica (rice paddy plant)
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • 1 bunch of lemon basil
  • 3 spring onions
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 stalks of lemon grass
  • 4 sharlots
  • 300 grams Fermented Bamboo Shoot 
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • (Kak uses fish that has been fermented for a year and makes the fish sauce himself)


First, wash the glutinous rice several times in lukewarm water. Now soak the sticky rice in water for at least 3 hours, better over night. Steam the rice over a boiling pot of water for 20 minutes. You can use a classic bamboo basket as in the film, or a metal sieve in which you place a kitchen towel. It is important that the rice is covered with a lid or banana leaves during steaming. After the 20 minutes, remove the rice from the cooker and leave it open to steam for 5 minutes.

Wash the bamboo shoot, squeeze out as much water as possible with your hands and put it in a bowl. Wash and roughly chop the lemon basil, spring onions, Limnophila aromatica and dill and also put them in a bowl.

Gut the fish, remove the fins and head and cut into 2 cm wide pieces.  Cut green chillis, lemongrass and sharlots, into small cubes and pound in a mortar.

Now put 300ml of water in a pot. Add the crushed paste of chillies, lemongrass and shallots to the pot and bring to a simmer. As soon as an intense aroma rises, add the cut pieces of fish. Bring everything to the boil very briefly and then add the bamboo. Everything should now just simmer. After about 10 minutes, add the coarsely chopped herbs (except lemon basil). Let everything simmer for another 5 minutes without stirring and then take the pot off the cooker. Now add the lemon basil. Then tear 6 kaffir lime leaves from the stem in the middle, roughly tear the leaves and add them to the pot. Close the lid of the pot for another 10 minutes. Now stir everything and put the salad into a bowl. Garnish the salad with lemon basil.

Enjoy your meal.

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