Pla Som (Sour Fish)

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Pla som is a preserved food and it’s a popular dish in the Southeast Asia. The food preservation technique is to marinate the fish in salt, garlic and cooked rice for several days until it is sour. The fish is served fried.


Pla som is high in protein, mineral, vitamins and sodium. Due to its high sodium content, it is not recommended to people living with kidney disease.


1 kg. carp
400 grams salt
100 grams steamed rice
100 grams garlic
1 liter water
2 tbsp thinly sliced red shallot
1 tbsp thinly sliced bird eye chilies


1. Clean and gut the fish and make two or three deep cuts on each side.
2. Add the salt and water to a bowl and stir until dissolved. Soak the fish in the salted water for 2-3 hours until the fish meat begins harden.
3. Clean the fish with fresh water and drain.
4. Combine the steamed rice, garlic and seasonings and place it in a plastic bag. Add the fish, stuffing with some of the mixture and making sure it is surrounded by the remainder. Let it marinate outside a refrigerator for 4-5 days until it becomes sour.
5. Remove from the bag, rinse off the marinade, dry and deep-fry until it becomes brown. Set aside.
6. Serve on a plate. Garnish with sliced shallots and bird eye chilies.