Simple Deep-fried Red Tilapia with Chili Dressing Recipe


Plaa Taab Tim Rad Prik – deep-fried red Tilapia with Chili dressing.

Blue Elephant Cooking School and Restaurant

I learned how to make Plaa Taab Tim Rad Prik at the Blue Elephant Cooking School and Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.

The dish is called deep-fried red Tilapia with Chili dressing in English, and it was delicious!

BTW, this recipe calls for galangal, which appears to be similar to ginger, but don’t think that you can substitute one for the other. The taste is completely different.  If you can’t find fresh or even frozen galangal at the market, it’s better to leave it out.

It was one of four dishes that I learned how to make in a half-day culinary course in Royal Thai cookery at the popular cooking school.

The course included a trip to a nearby wet market to source ingredients and a gourmet lunch that the students prepared themselves in the class.


  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 60 grams red Tilapia (deep fried)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  •  2 leave kaffir lim (torn)
  • 4 tablepoon stock
  • 10 leaves sweet basil
  • 1 piece red Serrano chili

Ingredients for Paste

  • 2 pieces dried red chilis (soaked)
  • 3 pieces bird’s eye chilies
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemongrass (finely sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon galangal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kaffir lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 pieces shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic


  1. Pound all ingredients together into a paste in a mortar
  2. Add paste in a wok on medium heat: stir-fry until an aroma develops
  3. Add stock; season with fish sauce and palm sugar to taste
  4. Add kaffir lime leaves, red Serrano chili, and sweet basil leaves
  5. Coast fish with flour in a mixing bowl
  6. Deep fry fish until it becomes golden brown; strain on paper towels
  7. Transfer to a serving fish with sauce from the wok

Want to Know More?

  • Click HERE for a detailed personal account of the course with LOTS of photos!


Blue Elephant Cooking School and Restaurant – 233 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Bangkok, Thailand. Tel: (66) 2-673-9353-8.

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