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Yum Som Khai Pla

So after I posted a recipe of Som Khai Pla (Preserved Fish Roe), a lot of people who read our post were curious to make, but they’re not sure if they would like the taste of preserved fish roe. Every culture has the delicacies that the outsiders find strange. Preserved fish roe is acquired taste food. Som Khai Pla is very pungent, salty and sour from the acidity formed during fermentation. To be honest, I can’t guarantee that you will like it, but I can tell you that it will be the adventure to your palate.

yum som khai pla 2

Som Khai Pla can be eaten raw which means once the fish roe has been fermented enough, you can eat it just like that. Fresh chilies and garlic are served on the side along with loads of fresh herbs. Cooked sticky rice is used to dip and scoop the delicious gooey texture of fish roe to your mouth.

Som Khai Pla 5

Eating preserved fish roe raw is the best way to do it. It was supposed to be served like that. But for the people who can’t manage to eat raw stuff, sautéing fish row in a little water will turn the roe firmed as it is cooked. Then you can throw in some chilies, garlic, chopped lemon grass and ginger, mint and coriander, etc. You can throw in a whole lots of fresh herbs to make it fresh and out-of-this-world delicious.

Yum means “mix” in Thai. It’s kind of like salad. The full-on spicy version. And here is how we do spicy Preserved Fish Roe Salad.

Yum Som Khai Pla


4 tbsp Som Khai Pla (Preserve Fish Roe)

2 tbsp water

10 cloves fresh garlic- coarsely chopped

2 tbsp chopped ginger

2 tbsp chopped lemon grass

10 birdeye chilies-whole

Mint, coriander and Chinese cabbage, lettuce and lime to serve on the side


In a pan heat 2 tbsp of water and sauté Som Khai Pla on a fairly low heat for 2 minutes. The roe will become firm and turn yellowish.

Remove from the heat and transfer it to the serving plate.

Add garlic, chilies, ginger and lemon grass, and mix well.

Serve with mint, coriander, lime, lettuce and Chinese cabbage on the side with more chilies as garnish.

yum som khai pla 1


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