Categorized | fish, grilled, seafood

Thai Food Recipe: Grilled Tilapia Fish (Pla Nin or Phao)

Salted, Grilled Fish (Tilapia) in Thai, Pla Phao, Pla Pow, Pla Nin

Salted and Grilled Fish stuffed with Lemongrass
Pla Phao, Pla Pow or Pla Nin (Tilapia or Nile Perch)


Pla Phao (Bla Nin) Tilapia fish.


1 tilapia fish (also known as Nile Perch) Can use any other gentle tasting fish as substitute.
1/2 cup rock salt
1/3 cup wheat flour
1 group lemongrass
2 pandanus leaves



2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. minced chili pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. hot water
1 tsp. minced coriander root




Cooking Instructions:

1. Clean the fish very well. Open its stomach, throw away the inside parts and clean.

2. Crush the lemongrass and pandanus leaves. Fold and tuck it inside the stomach.

3. Mix wheat flour and salt together. Add 3 tbsp. water.

4. Cover all over the fish with the mixed.

5. Grill it. You should check it often because cooking time is vary, depending the heat you make.

6. If the meat still clear, the fish is not ready yet. The meat should be totally white but make sure the meat is still soft. When you over cook it the meat will be hard and it doesn’t taste sweet at all.

7. Mix the sauce ingredients altogether. Add more or less spice as you like. Then, dress it with mint or coriander leaves.




This is one of our favorite food in northeast of Thailand. We always got it once a week and it was not expensive at all. My husband told me I should put the recipe in my blog because most people don’t know how to cook it this way. I think you should try if you can find some fresh fish, doesn’t matter what kind but tilapia will taste the best. It doesn’t have many bones. When the fish is fresh, you can taste the sweetness from the meat and there’s no fishy smell because lemongrass helped get rid of it. Be careful not to overcook it as the meat has a burnt taste.




I remembered the Crown Prince Akihito from Japan gave this 50 Nile Tilapia to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which was the first time that Nile tilapia got into Thailand. Then the King introduced it to us, Thai people, to do tilapia farm. Now, we can have it all year and cheap!



Joy….. \(^v^)/

This post was written by:

- who has written 308 posts on Joy's Thai Food Recipe & Dessert Blog!.

Sawasdee Ka! I'm Joy, the owner of Joy's Thai Food Recipe & Cooking blog. I have been cooking since I was little with my mom and aunts in northeast Thailand. I want to share my childhood Thai recipes with you. Please help me make this the best site I can by completing my survey! :) Joy To contact me use the email address below, or find me at Google+.

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3 Responses to “Thai Food Recipe: Grilled Tilapia Fish (Pla Nin or Phao)”

  1. Daaid says:

    Thank you for this. This is a recipe for Talapia I have not tried.Today though I am cooking pomfret in tamarind

    Do you have a recipe for ba lah please


  2. Tom says:

    Looks simple and tasty.

    FYI: Nile Perch and Tilapia look similar, but are different species. :)

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi, should the fish be de-scaled before grilling? or shd the scales be still on the fish?



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