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This will be the last of my recipes from the Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok, Thailand. This recipe blew me away, and completing this dish gave me new confidence in the kitchen. It seems difficult due to the number of steps and for some reason fish has always seemed harder to me… but the finished product is a complex fish that would wow any dinner party guest who ever visited your home.

This dish is suitable for grilling in the warmer months or baking indoors in the cooler. It’s full on flavor but actually light when eating. I believe they recommended it as an appetizer for a dinner party at the cooking school, but I don’t have anything in my repertoire that could top this… so would need it to be a main


Plaa Phaow Bai Tong (Grilled or Baked Fish in Banana Leaf)
Main Ingredients
100 G Sea Bass (or White Firm Fish like Red Snapper or Garupa)
1 Leaf Banana Leaf
1 Sheet Aluminum Foil

Ingredients for Paste Making
10 G Lemon Grass Finely Sliced
10 G Galangal
10 G Garlic
1 Stem Coriander Root

Ingredients for Seasoning
1 TS Oyster Sauce
1 TSP Light Soya Sauce
1/4 TSP White Pepper Powder
1/4 TSP White Sugar
5 G Butter

5 G Sweet Basil Leaves (10-15 Leaves)
5G Dill (finely chopped)
1 Leaf Kaffir Lime Leaf (roll and finely slice)


  1. In the mortar: pound lemongrass, garlic, galangal & coriander root into a paste.
  2. In mixing bowl: add pate, oyster sauce, light soya sauce, white pepper, sugar & butter. Add kaffir lime leaf last.
  3. Then coat the fish with the paste, covering it well.
  4. Add dill and then sweet basil leaves to the top of fish
  5. Wrap the fish fillet with banana leaf and aluminum foil with the skin side of the fish down.
  6. Grill on the range or bake in the oven (200 C) for 15 minutes.

Naam Jim (Chili Dipping Sauce for the Fish)
1 Stem Coriander Root
4 Cloves Garlic
3 G Bird’s Eyes Chilies (5 pieces or do 3 pieces for medium spicy)
1 Piece Big Red Chili
1 TB Fish Sauce
1/2 TB Palm Sugar
1 TB Tamarind Juice
1 TSP Lime Juice


  1. In a mortar pound garlic, coriander root, bird’s eyes chilies, & big red chili into paste.
  2. In a saucepan simmer on low heat sugar, fish sauce & tamarind juice for about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer into a mixing bowl. Add lime juice and the paste and mix well.
  4. Serve alongside the fish.

Recipe courtesy of Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok. Read about my experiences of a morning program class here.

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