the appetizer:

The Elements of Life: A Contemporary Guide to Thai Recipes and Traditions for Healthier Living by Su-Mei Yu, includes excerpts and recipes like Thai Curries; Jungle Soup Gaeng Paa; Almond Milk; Stir-Fried Okra; and Ceviche, Thai Style Plah Pla.


Ceviche, Thai Style


Ceviche, Thai Style
Plah Pla

Makes 4 servings


I altered this ancient recipe by substituting coconut cream with almond milk, as Wind element people fare better with less saturated fat. It is still delicious, with a profusion of herbs that will nurture your Wind element.


Chile Paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, tender
         inner stalk minced
  • Grated zest of 1 kaffir or regular lime
  • 6 to 7 fresh Thai or 3 fresh serrano chiles, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • One 1-pound salmon fillet, bones removed and sliced paper thin
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 3 fresh Thai or 1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles, slivered
  • 1 cup shredded peeled green mango or unpeeled tart green apple
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn

Put the chile paste ingredients in a spice grinder or blender and puree. Remove to a mortar and pound into a paste.

Combine the chile paste, salt, fish sauce, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool completely, then stir in the lime juice. Put the salmon in a single layer in a glass baking dish and pour the mixture over it. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours, until the salmon turns pale pink and firm.

Before serving, add the almond milk and stir lightly to coat the fish. Toss gently with the chiles, mango, mint, and cilantro. Serve with hot white, brown, or red rice.

  • from:
    The Elements of Life:
    A Contemporary Guide to Thai Recipes
    and Traditions for Healthier Living
  • by Su-Mei Yu
  • Wiley 2009
  • Hardcover; 336 pages; $35.00
  • ISBN-10: 0471757071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-471-75707-81
  • Reprinted by permission.

Buy The Elements of Life


The Elements of Life


This page created August 2010

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