Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thai Steamed Fish with Spicy Chili-Lime Sauce / Pla Neung Manao

Pla (fish) neung (steamed) manao (lime) is one of the most favorite Thai dish I LOVE to eat.  I meant, I can literally eat the whole fish by myself.   Yes, most, if not all, Thai people love this dish if you ask.  It’s not only because it’s so easy to make, but it’s so healthy, and sooooo spicy-licious!  It’s said to be very popular among the drinkers at the party and family gathering. 

Since this dish is full of the intense herbal flavors from the fresh Thai chili, garlic, and ginger,  it is meant to be eaten with steamed jasmine rice to balance out the spiciness and calm the dish down a little.   However, steamed rice is only an optional if you can handle the heat.   This dish can be made with any white fish of your choice either a whole fish or fish fillet.   However, keep in mind when you buy a whole fish to make this dish if it will fit in your steamer, or otherwise cut the whole fish in half or use fish fillet instead.   

I promise you when you make one, you will want to make it again and again. But be warned, use chili with your own caution, as you can handle it. 

What you need:

1.5 lbs. cleaned fresh Golden Pompano, or other white fish of your choice – barramundi, or tilapia, etc. 

For the sauce
3 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp. finely chopped Thai chili
2 tbsp. finely julienned fresh ginger
1/4 cup fresh squeeze lime juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

For garnish
1/4 cup julienned scallions both white and green parts
A handful of cilantro leaves

1. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and set aside.
2. Use a large shallow dish that fit in your steamer because there will be some juice comes out from the fish. It’s all the good flavor, do not discard!   Steam the fish on high heat for 18-20 minutes (depends on the size and weight of the fish).
3. When the fish is cooked, pour over with the chili-lime sauce and garnish with cilantro leaves, and scallion.
4. Serve the dish immediately with steam jasmine rice and enjoy.  

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