How to Make Thai Fried Fish with Garlic and Turmeric (วิธีทำปลาทอดขมิ้น)

Thai fried fish with garlic and turmeric, known as pla tod kamin (ปลาทอดขมิ้น) in Thai, is one of my favorite ways to eat fried fish. Read the full recipe now:

Ying and her family are from the south of Thailand, so when I’m at home, with her family, we tend to eat mainly southern Thai food – as that’s predominantly what her mom cooks. Anyway, that’s totally fine by me, because I’m a lover of all food from the south of Thailand. One of the dishes that my mother in law frequently makes is called pla tod kamin (ปลาทอดขมิ้น), which is basically a Thai deep fried fish with turmeric and garlic, and I think it happens to be one of the best ways ever to cook and to eat a deep fried fish. You’ll find this Thai dish in Bangkok at southern Thai restaurants and throughout the south of Thailand.

This is actually a pretty simple recipes, and even when I was visiting the United States, I was able to find all the ingredients for this (although I made this recipe in Bangkok). Ok, here are the ingredients you’ll need for this spectacular Thai dish:

Fish – and I used 2 small fish which equally out to about 1 kilo together. I used a fish called pla daeng in Thai (ปลาแดง), which is an ornate threadfrin bream. It’s a good fish because it’s small enough to fry easily, and once it’s finished cooking, the fish remains nice and firm. But you could also use another fish like a tilapia or mackerel can both be used.
Salt – a few pinches of salt to season the fish before frying them
Garlic – 250 grams of garlic (กระเทียม), and for me that came to 7 full heads of garlic
Turmeric – 150 grams fresh turmeric (ขมิ้น) rhizome, which was a nice handful
Oil – enough oil for frying, I think I used about 1 liter, but depending on the size of your wok or pan may determine how much oil you’ll need to use.

Be sure to view the full recipe here but I’ll quickly recap the steps for making pla tod kamin (ปลาทอดขมิ้น) here:

The first thing to do is peel your garlic, and then take your fresh turmeric and chop it up into small pieces. In Thailand most people use a mortar and pestle to then pound the turmeric and garlic. But alternatively if you don’t have a Thai mortar and pestle, you could also use a blender or a food processor. One thing to note is that you don’t want the mixture too fine, it’s not like a curry paste, you just want to break it down and release their oils.

The fish should be de-scaled and gutted already, then just sprinkle a little salt on them. Then take the turmeric garlic mixture and rub it all over the fish. Then go ahead and put your oil into the wok and start to heat your oil. Once the oil is hot, you can slide in the fish (only the fish, not the garlic and turmeric yet). It should take about 5 – 8 minutes to deep fry on each side of the fish. You want to gently keep and eye on it, and remember to use your spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Once your fish is all the way golden and cooked through, take it out and drain it.

Now go back to your garlic and turmeric, and deep fry that for about 10 minutes or so, until it becomes golden and crispy. You want to continually mix it, so it doesn’t stick or clump.

That’s about it for this southern Thai recipe for fried fish with garlic and turmeric (วิธีทำปลาทอดขมิ้น). Like I mentioned in the video, this is honestly one of my favorite ways to eat fried fish, I think the garlic and the turmeric enhance the fish so incredibly well, and with a fresh plate of hot rice it’s hard to beat.

Music in this video courtesy of Audio Network

Produced by Mark and Ying Wiens
Mark is the eater at: &
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Thank you and happy eating!

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