Thai Fish Curry - Kaeng Ped Pla / or Tofu

"I have tried many thai curries over the years, and they have all been 'OK', but never quite got that authentic flavour or feel. And then other recipes have just scared me away with incredibly long lists of ingredients. I think this is a nice compromise. It is well worth marinating, it only takes a minute to throw the marinade together, then putting it all together later does not take long at all. I have made it with fish and followed the recipe to a T, with beautiful results. I have also subbed tofu and had good results. This recipe does not traditionally call for any veg to be included, it's meant to be simple. I often do add one vegetable such as red bell pepper or bok choi though, otherwise I serve with a salad. If you do add a veg, be careful not to add too much or you take away from the sauce and lose some of that soupy consistency. Keep it simple If you really wanted to add more veg I would double up on the sauce ingredients. Most of the ingredients are pretty main stream these days, my local grocery store carries it all, and certainly any Asian grocery store would. Hope you enjoy, this recipe came from a Thai food and lifestyle cookbook that was given to me as a gift."
photo by Rinshinomori photo by Rinshinomori
photo by Rinshinomori
Ready In:
1hr 45mins


  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons thai soy sauce, or sub regular soy sauce or tamari is OK
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and chopped, fresh is best but sub 1/4-1/2 tsp chile powder if you have to
  • 12 oz/ 350 g white fish, cubed
  • 12 oz/ 350 g salmon fillets, skinned and cubed
  • 1 cake tofu, cubed firm, instead of fish if you prefer
  • 1 34 cups coconut milk (I just use one can of lite coconut milk)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, chopped finely, or use about 1-2 tsp of the fresh pre-minced type you can get in tu
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, or brown basmati if you prefer
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Optional

  • 1 pinch or two brown sugar
  • 1 red bell pepper, or other veg, cut into thin strips
  • 2 -3 tablespoons pistachio nuts, roasted as optional garnish
  • 3 -4 tablespoons mangoes, or other tropical fruit, diced finely, as optional garnish


  • The Marinade, prepare at least 1-2 hours before, or even overnight:.
  • Combine the lime juice, HALF of the fish sauce, and the soy sauce in a shallow non-metallic dish.
  • Add the chile and the fish (or tofu), stir or use your hands to coat. Cover and let chill for 1-2 hours, or overnight. (If the fish or tofu is not fully immersed, turn the pieces part way through marinating).
  • Ready to cook:.
  • Start your rice as per package directions. Depending on the sort you are using, the cooking time will vary.
  • Add the curry paste to a med hot pan, warm it up a bit and then add the coconut milk, the lime leaves, the remaining fish sauce and the lemon grass. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the fish, the marinade and red bell pepper or other veg if you're using one. Let it all simmer together for about 5 minutes, until the fish (or tofu) and veg are cooked. If you need to have this sit for longer, be sure not to add the veg too early or they will be over cooked.
  • At this point you may want to add a pinch of brown sugar if it tastes too sour or salty.
  • Stir the chopped fresh cilantro through the hot boiled rice.
  • Serve the curry with the rice, garnish the curry with pistachio nuts and/or chopped mango if you like -- it adds a nice touch.

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  1. We enjoyed this recipe using both wild caught chum salmon and tofu. Brown sugar and cut up banana were added to bring out the sweetness that was missing in the sauce. I also added green pepper and onion for more flavor and color along with julienned carrots. Thank you for posting this recipe. Made for Asian forum's unrated Asian recipe tag.


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