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Thai Rustic Grilled Fish

In case you haven’t heard, we spent a week in Thailand during Song Kran Festival last week. Check out our Song Kran post to get a glimpse of this colorful tradition of Thailand. We had such an amazing time there that we decided to make it an annual schedule to visit my Thailand every April.

Though it wasn’t the first time my husband and son visited Thailand, but it was the first time they visited my hometown, Khon Kaen a beautiful province in the Northeast of Thailand. Northeast Thailand is also known as Isaan region, famous for its rustic cuisine, vibrant cultures, and generous hospitalities.

I couldn’t wait to show Sadik and Yaseen Mr & Mrs Farmers’ fish pond and vegetable garden. We were amazed by her district award winning garden that stayed green and fresh under the hot sun. We decided to catch some fish in this rich and organic pond and cooked lunch right there by the pond using whatever fresh ingredients in this beautiful farm.

Mr Farmers asked one of our uncles who specialized in catching fish along with 2 neighbors to help finding fish. The children and few relatives then joined us and brought along some cold drinks, snacks and fresh fruits.

Sadik was so enthusiastic in finding fish in the pond but he skipped it because he didn’t want to disturb the experts and scare the fish away. He has been assigned to cut down bamboo tree and make skewers and sticks to cook fish. We first worried if this IT professional could manage the farm job, but he did a really fantastic work.

This pond is an important food source of the family or even relative families. It is rich with healthy and organic jumbo size fish. Mrs Farmers feeds her fish occasionally with rice bran or the leftover vegetable from her farm otherwise these fish could perfectly sustain themselves with natural planktons and insects.

The fish were so healthy and fresh. The fish catcher didn’t really need a lot of efforts to pull a large bucket of fish within 30 minutes.

The fish then transferred to an outdoor kitchen under the big mango trees. We cleaned them with clean water and cut the inside out without removing scales. Fresh herbs like lemon grass, basil and kaffir lime leaves were then stuffed inside the fish and a handful of sea salt was rubbed on the glossy shiny skin.

We carefully threaded the fish in the bamboo sticks and grilled it over the hot charcoal. While the fish was grilling away, the exotic aroma of fresh herbs lighted up the atmosphere.

Mrs Farmers prepared some green mango salad, papaya salad and peanut sauce to go with these juicy grilled fish. The fresh vegetable was freshly picked from the garden.

The result was divinely delicious. The fish was so juicy and tender and beautifully scented with fresh herbs. We loved wrapping our fish with fresh vegetable and herbs and ate it with the spicy peanut sauce. Yaseen enjoyed his fish with fish sauce and warm sticky rice.

Thai Rustic Grilled Fish

Ingredients: (4 servings)

4 whole fish (any kind of fish, tilapia or any kind of fresh water fish)- cleaned and inside removed (no need to scale)

Thai basil

Lemon grass- stalks and leaves

Kaffir lime leaves

Sea Salt


  1. Clean and remove the inside of the fish.
  2. Stuffed a handful of basil, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaves in the fish.
  3. Rub a handful of sea salt on the whole fish.
  4. Grill over a medium- high heat charcoal for 3 minutes each side or until the fish cooked thoroughly.
  5. Serve hot with spicy salad or sauce.

The tender sweet meat of the fish went so well with the spicy and flavourful papaya salad. Moreover, the fresh farm garden, the cold shade of mango trees and the cold mud aroma gave such a wonderful and graceful ambience to our picnic lunch. We shared every fish and dish, we caught up and told each other stories and experiences we faced many years apart. It was such a beautiful time and perfect moment and I was so happy that my husband and son could be a part of this lovely event.

Stay tune for more about our farm and the future projects…

Take care,

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