Pla Rad Prik – Super Spicy Thai Fried Fish Topped with Spicy, Sweet, & Sour Chilli Sauce

Pla Rad Prik – Super Spicy Thai Fried Fish Topped with Spicy, Sweet, & Sour Chilli Sauce

Pla Rad Prik – Super Spicy Thai Fried Fish Topped with Spicy, Sweet, & Sour Chilli Sauce


Super Crispy Fried Fish covered in a Spicy, Sweet and Sour Sauce!

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Pla Rad Prik is a popular Thai recipe of crispy fried fish topped with a super delicious sweet, sour and sticky mango, ginger and chilli sauce. It is everything you want in a dish, crispy fish, sweet and sticky sauce that packs a real punch!

pla rad prik crispy fired fish covered in sweet and sour sauce

What Does Pla Rad Prick Mean?

Pla Raad Prik is a Thai dish. Pla means fish, raad means to pour over something and prik means chilli. So it literally means fish poured over chilli. It is a very popular dish served in both street food stalls and upscale restaurants all over Thailand.

The traditional recipe is fried fish that is topped with a sweet, sour and spicy sauce traditionally served with a bowl of steamed jasmine rice. The sauce is made using tamarind, coriander roots, white peppercorns, garlic, mild red chilli, thai chilli, palm sugar and fish sauce.

My recipe is not 100% authentic but a family recipe passed down from my mother. It is 100% inspired by our favourite Thai fish dish but is our take on the delicious recipe. In our house we call it Pla Raad Abi! Named after my mother.

pla rad prik spicy sauce and fried fish

What Do I Need?

This recipe is actually really simple and only requires a few easily sourced ingredients.

The Sauce –

  • Mango Paste – We will be making our own sweet and sour paste. You can find the ingredients needed below.
  • Red or Green Bell pepper – You can use either red or green pepper which should be diced into medium chunky sized cubes.
  • Scotch bonnet or habanero – This is a fiery hot but fruity chilli. I use a whole one for this sauce, for some real punch! Please note use much less if you can’t handle spice. Or simply use a milder red chilli or one Thai chilli.
  • Garlic and Shallot – Finely dice the shallot and mince the garlic for sautéing at the start before adding the mango paste.
  • Fish Sauce – I use the one and only Squid Brand and recommend every pantry has a bottle – the condiment simply cannot be replaced. Check out my What’s in My Pantry Post.
  • Tamarind Paste – I use Madam Pum which you can find in most asian grocers or on amazon check out this link.

Chilli Disclaimer!

If using the scotch bonnet/habanero use a knife and fork to cut the chilli and remove and discard the seeds. Wash your hands after handling hot chilli’s – trust me you dont want to rub your eyes accidentally!

The Mango Paste –

  • Sweet Mango – I like to use sweet mangos for the best flavour and sweetness. You can also use a standard mango but note it wont be as sweet.
  • Ginger – Peel a generous 1-2 inch piece of ginger and add to the saucepan.
  • Orange juice – Use 3 oranges and juice them fresh for the best flavour.
  • Honey – To sweeten up the paste you will need 2 tablespoons of good quality honey.
mangos, bell peppers, shallots and garlic

How to Make the Mango Paste!

The base of this recipe is a homemade mango, ginger and orange paste. This is super easy to make and takes less than 10 minutes. The paste should be kept in an air tight container in the fridge. It should last at least 7 days in a cold fridge.

  1. Scrape out the contents of a sweet mango into a saucepan.
  2. Peel a 1-2 inch piece of ginger and add to the saucepan.
  3. Juice 2 oranges and pour the juice in to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Add the honey and turn the heat to low and leave the mixture to cook. After 10 minutes or once bubbling, the mixture is ready.
  5. Allow the paste to cool slightly before pouring into a blender cup and blending until smooth.

You can also make a double batch and freeze the paste. It’s best in the freezer for about 3-4 months. This way you have a quick and easy dinner ready in just 20 minutes with already made paste.

How to Fry the Fish!

Frying fish is actually really easy when you know what you are doing. Do not be intimidated by the hot oil. Take everything slowly to avoid any accidents.

  1. First heat sunflower oil to 180°C. When ready using tongs place the fish skin side down into the oil and cover with a splash guard and leave to fry for at least 4 minutes and no more than 6 minutes.
  2. Once 4 minutes are up check and remove the splash guard and if the fish is a light golden brown use the tongs to carefully turn over the fish, re cover with splash guard and fry again for another 4-6 minutes.
  3. The fish should be nice and crispy and ready to be removed after 4 minutes.
  4. Turn the fish over for the final time and fry for 2-3 more minutes skin side down to crisp up the skin a little more.
  5. Once done remove the fish from the pan to a plate lined with kitchen roll to soak up excess oil.
pla rad prik, crispy fried fish sweet and spicy sauce

Tips & Tricks

  • Make the mango paste ahead so that its ready to go when you want to start making your sauce.
  • Use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil for the fish.
  • Use a splash guard to protect your kitchen from oil splatters but also from you.
  • Be very careful when frying the fish, use long tongs and move the fish slowly to avoid oil splashes and spitting.
  • I highly recommend wearing long sleeves to protect your arms from some inevitable oil spitting.
  • Chop all your sauce ingredients and measure out the condiments before hand. The sauce comes together very quickly, so you want all your ingredients ready at hand.

Pla Rad Prik Serving Suggestions –

Pla Rad Prik goes perfectly with some fluffy basmati rice. Be sure to top with some freshly chopped coriander too!

Check out my Super Easy Rice Recipe for perfect rice every time!

Pla Rad Prik

Super Crispy Fried Fish covered in a Spicy, Sweet and Sour Sauce!
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Deep frying pan
  • 1 Sauce Frying Pan
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Garlic Presse


  • 4 sea bass fillets or 1 whole fish butterflied
  • 2 cups sunflower or vegetable oil

The Mango Paste

  • 1 sweet mango
  • 4 oranges for juicing
  • 1 medium size ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey

The Sauce

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero
  • 1 green or red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • cup water


The Mango Paste

  • Peel and chop the mango and add to saucepan. Squeeze the oranges and add the juice to the pan, then add your peeled piece of fresh ginger.
  • Leave the saucepan uncovered and heat for 15-20 minutes on a low/medium heat. Allow to cool slightly before blending and setting aside.

Frying the Fish

  • Wash the fish and dry thoroughly with kitchen roll then salt liberally. Set aside and begin to heat vegetable oil until very hot, about 180-190°C.
  • Using tongs slowly place the fish in the hot oil skin side down. Deep fry the fish for around 5-7 minutes each side depending on size.
  • When done remove to a plate lined with kitchen roll to soak up excess oil.

The Sauce

  • Finely dice the shallots and mince the garlic. Chop the peppers into small cubes and finely dice the chilli.
  •  Heat the oil to smoking then throw in the chopped vegetables.
  • Add ½ cup of mango paste, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon tamarind paste and 1 tablespoon honey. Add some water, about a ⅓ cup mix and cover.
  • Once the sauce is bubbling remove the lid and turn the heat to medium. Recover and leave to cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Once done turn off heat. Add the fried fish to a large dish and pour the hot sauce on top of the fish and serve right away!


  • When frying fish wear long sleeves to protect your arms from any splash back.
  • Cover the pan with a splash guard as soon as you put the fish in the pan. 
  • Stay close by and check the fish after 4 minutes, using tongs by gently lifting a corner of the fish.
  • At step 2 of the sauce you will throw the chopped veg into very hot oil. This will cause the chilli to release its intense oils which will irritate your eyes and remain in your kitchen. 
  • Ensure you have your extractor fan on and windows open.
  • If you can I also suggest heating the oil till smoking and then taking the pan outside, placing on the floor or a heat resistant surface and throwing the veg mix in, to allow the chilli fumes to dissipate outside instead of your kitchen.
Tips –
  • The sauce cooks very quickly, so stay with it so you can keep a close eye on your sauce and get the best results.
  • Dry your fish thoroughly after washing, it must be completely dry before being put in hot oil.
  • Make the mango paste ahead, either the day before or the morning of the day you wish to cook it. This saves lots of time and makes the meal super quick and easy.
  • You can also freeze the mango paste for up to 3 months or store in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
Author: Daniel Devereux
Cost: £15
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Fish, fried, Quick & Easy, Quick Meal, Spicy, Thai

Did you try this Pla Rad Prik Recipe?

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