Pla Ra ปลาร้า/Padaek ປາແດກ (Fermented Fish recipe)

  • Fresh water fish. (Typically this is the Snakehead Murrell {Channa striata}) 
  • Salt
  • Rice husks.
  1. Gut and clean the very fresh fish, washing the body cavities, gills,  mouth and outside of the carcass with plenty of fresh running water.
  2. Descale the fish and rinse again. (It's important to have a very clean meat as a starting product)
  3. Cut the fish into large pieces filleting as you go.
  4. Layer  a weighed amount of fish in a large earthenware jar.
  5. Sprinkle an amount of rice husks (not cooked or treated in any way, over the fish. The amount is not truly specified but rather described as a couple of handfulls.
  6. Sprinkle the same weight of salt as the fish, directly onto this layer of fish.
  7. Repeat the layering process as for the first layer until all the fish is safely placed into the fermentation jar.
  8. Cover the mouth of the jar with porous cloth to exclude insects and vermin and cats.
  9. Leave this to ferment in an airy position but not in hot sun for a minimum of six (6) months. The longer the digestion is allowed to proceed, the higher the quality of the product. 
  10. When fermentation is complete then transfer the Plaa Raa (that is the entire mixture of contents into smaller glass storage jars with a lid.