Yum Pla Tuu

Spicy Mackerel Salad


Being cheap and easily available, mackerel is a preferred fish of choice in many Thai fish dishes. Much of the mackerel in Bangkok hails from the south-western Samut Songkhram province, a place that loves its mackerel so much that there is even a festival to commemorate it. An oily fish, the mackerel lends its flavour to the accompanying salad ingredients, which means seasoning can be kept to a minimum. Enjoy this popular street food dish as a light lunch.


  • 4 medium mackerels, gutted and cleaned
  • cooking oil for frying
  • 4–5 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2.5 cm knob ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 red chillies, lightly crushed
  • 4 green chillies, lightly crushed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Β½ green apple
  • 5 lettuce leaves
  • a handful of coriander leaves


  1. Place the fish in a steamer and steam for 5–7 minutes. Before the fish is completely cooked, remove from the steamer and lightly pat dry.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Gently lower the fish into the hot oil and fry until golden. Drain and leave to cool.
  3. Skin and debone the fish. Flake the flesh.
  4. Mix the fish meat with the shallots, ginger, chillies and peanuts. Add the lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  5. Halve and core the apple, then cut into fine strips. Add to the salad and toss well.
  6. Line a serving plate with lettuce leaves. Spoon the fish salad onto the prepared plate. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve.