RECIPE: Spicy and Sour Thai Soup with Sea Bass


This is a simple recipe (Tom Klong Plaa Kra Phong, a nice dish to try other than Tom Yum Goong) from Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok, Thailand; I took a half day class (4 dishes plus visit to local street market) during my short visit in December 2012. Classes are available year-round at two locations, Bangkok and Phuket:  

The portion is for 1 person, please adjust accordingly. Conversion: 1 gram = 0.035274 ounces


80 grams Sea Bass (Fillet and cut into bite size pieces), 200 Grams Chicken Stock

(I’ve used Pacific Cod and works just as well; fish stock can be used in place of chicken stock)

Vegetables and Herbs:

10 grams shallot (crushed), 4 thin slices galangal, 1 coriander root (crushed), 5 birds eye chili (crushed), 3 stems Thai saw coriander (cut 1 cm in length (can substitute with regular coriander), 1 stem lemongrass (bruised, crushed into pieces), 1 kaffir lime leave (torn, no stem), 2 dried chilies


1 1/2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce, 1 1/2 Tablespoon Tamarind juice, 1/4 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
(this is the basic ratio, you can always adjust according to taste)


– Prepare the vegetables and herbs (sliced, diced, grind – always have everything ready!)

– Using medium heat, dry roast lemon grass, galangal, shallot and dried chillies until their aromas develop (don’t burn them)

– Add stock, bring to boil, add coriander root and kaffir lime

– Add fish, cook well and do not stir (our instructor emphasized this as stirring will break the fish into small pieces); when bubbling, add seasoning and gently mix well, taste and adjust if necessary.

– Once boiled, remove from heat and add crushed birds eye chillies, coriander and lime juice

– Remove coriander root prior to serving, enjoy!

Spicy and Sour Soup with Sea Bass, Thai Green Curry (in background) – we enjoyed the dishes at the dining room after class completed. Will go again for sure when I visit Bangkok next time.

Here’s the picture of the dish I made at the school:

**Galangal is not the same as ginger and is commonly used in Thai cooking. The cooking process for this root is the same as cooking ginger, it has a peppery flavour and commonly used in soups, curries and stir fried dishes.  I found the vacuumed packed galangal here in Vancouver at Gourmet Warehouse (imported from Blue Elephant).  Since Thai food is so popular everywhere, this ingredient may be available at your local Asian grocery stores.

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