Pla neung manao – steamed chilli lime fish

Fish and seafood

      photo 1

Now this is what I want (what I really, really want) for dinner – something like this:


A whole steamed fish with chillies and garlic in a lime sauce, brought steaming and simmering to the table in a fish shaped serving tray … one of my very favourite dishes.

But … I don’t have a fish shaped dish, or even a whole fish – and I need to make dinner with what’s available at my small local supermarket.

It’s surprisingly easy to make a very delicious version using white fish fillets and steaming the fish in parcels of foil in the oven. And with all the warming chillies, this is as perfect for a midweek winter supper in London as eaten on the beach in Thailand!

To serve two, you’ll need

2 fillets of white fish

2-4 garlic cloves

4-6 bird eye chillies (it IS a spicy dish, but obviously use chilli to your own taste)

2 tablespoons fish sauce

the juice of 1-2 limes

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tsp stock granules or 1/2 a stock cube

coriander to garnish

rice and steamed green vegetables to serve

photo 1[2]

1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas 7 / 220 C / 425 F

2. Tear off two large pieces of foil and place a fish fillet diagonally across each.

3. Chop the garlic and chillies finely and spread over the fish.

photo 2[2]

photo 1[1]

4. In a small bowl, mix together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and stock cube (don’t worry if the stock cube/granules don’t dissolve as they will do as it cooks).  Tuck the ends of the foil up to start creating the parcels and pour the sauce equally into each parcel around the fish.

photo 2[1]

5. Crimp the edges of the foil together, creating a parcel bigger than the fish so there’s room for it to steam inside, and place on a baking tray in the pre-heated oven.

photo 3[1]

6. Cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

7. Serve sprinkled with coriander and slices of lime, alongside rice and green vegetables.

photo 4

Do try this! I want everyone to know how easy it is to make a simple version of pla neung manao at home.

Let me know what you think …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *