If you happen to have huge, freshly caught catfish lying around in your kitchen, you must try this dish. I first tasted this in Bangkok years back. I just love the combination of crunchy catfish and sour green mango with the sweet and spicy dressing. Of course you can also use catfish fillet. When the chef at the hotel we were staying at in Bangkok did a demonstration of this dish, the fish was shredded and deep-fried to get the crunchy taste. In this version, I boil the whole fish (or steam the fillet), shred the flesh (throw away the bones and skin) and then dry it in the oven. The result will still be a crunchy catfish without the oil!
- one whole catfish, boiled or 2 huge catfish fillets steamed (or boiled)
- 3 thai bird chillis, sliced thinly
- 2 tbs crushed peanuts
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced or shredded green mango
- 2 tbs shallots, minced
- 2 tbs sugar
- 3 tbs fish sauce
- Remove and throw away catfish skin and bones. Shred catfish flesh with a fork (or use your hands). Place in a baking sheet and dry in 250F oven for 30 minutes or until light brown and crunchy. Set aside. Timing will depend on how much flesh you get out of the catfish.
- Prepare dressing by mixing chilies, sugar, fish sauce and shallot in a bowl. Set aside a few sliced chilies for garnishing. Add shredded mango and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to get a sweet and sour flavor.
- Add the crunchy catfish and peanuts. Toss.
- Place on a bed of lettuce and garnish with bird chili slices.
We love to serve this as an appetizer.