Pon Pla Too ( Spicy North Eastern Thai Mackerel Dip )

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Pon Pla Too ( Spicy North Eastern Thai Mackerel Dip )

Steamed Thai mackerel only the meat 3 each
Roasted red and chili Peppers 7-8 pieces
Roasted shallots 5 heads
Grilled Galangal pieces 4 slices
Roasted Garlic 3 small heads
Ferment fish juice (Pla Rah) or fish sauce as needed
Kaffir lime juice or lime juice as needed
Accompanying vegetables as needed


1. Grilled the steamed Thai mackerel and pick out only the meat.

2. In a pestle and mortar, pound together the roasted chilies, garlic, shallots and galangal into a paste. Then add the mackerel meat and pound everything together.

3. Adjust the seasoning with Kaffir lime juice or lime juice for sourness and fermented fish liquid (pla rah) or fish sauce for saltiness. The dip should taste sour, salty and smokey.

4. If the paste is too thick add a little water to the paste to make it soupier. Spoon the dip into a bowl and serve with accompanying vegetables and steamed rice.


a. If you like you Nam Prik quite spicy hot, pound roasted hot Thai chili peppers with the paste.

b. Thai mackerel is easily available in Thailand and has been at Thai tables for a long long time. You may not be able to find it abroad but smoked fish is in the West can easily be substituted but remember to steam it a little to soften the flesh for pounding.

c. If Kaffir limes are not easily available, just use limejuice instead.

d. Galangal is often found in Chinese grocery stores abroad in dry form to fresh hands in the frozen herb sections. If you cannot find it just substitutes fresh ginger instead but use only half the amount required in the recipe.