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A Whiskery Feast! Four Asian Style Catfish Plates

A Catfish Feast from the Bottom of the Riverbed

Seafood is a diverse old bean. It covers everything from deep fried squid to a fresh fillet of fish. Of course, some dishes are more popular - and more delicious! - than others, at least according to the continental palate. Out in the East, for example, exists the notorious catfish. Large and plucked from freshwater, this feline fillet can be found on many an Asian menu as lunch and dinner alike. Curious? Then go ahead, indulge that appetite! We've versions and plates without end (although there are just four here), deep-fried slices of the fish to steamboat boils.      

1. Spicy Stir Fry Catfish from Thai Wi Rat 

Known colloquially and on the Thai Wi Rat menu as 'Pad Ped Pla Dook,' spicy stir-fried catfish is a gentle introduction to the fillet's texture and flavour. Chilli paste seasons it with an undertone of heat, crisp and wilting veg spills out the plate and the meat itself is soft, cooked and brown. Mmph. Noodly goodness. Thai cuisine never fails to disappoint and, while catfish is only one small part of its much larger menu, it's certainly a standout highlight.

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2.  Catfish in a Clay Pot at Saigon Corner 

Up next, a little Vietnamese chow from Saigon Corner, prepped and cooked in a traditional clay pot. No more stir fry! This is a whole fish bake that'll knock your proverbial, and possibly literal, socks off - and boy is it one heavily-seasoned mama! With a base of shallots, garlic, oil and lemongrass, its flavours are built from the bottom up, level by level. The aromas blend, the fish sizzles and every mouthful is a wild, fragrant ride. Get yourself a Catfish in a Claypot as soon as possible. You won't regret it!  

3. Deep Fried Catfish from Tawadang 

From spicy to savoury to a touch of the sweet: Yum Pla Duk Foo, or deep fried catfish served with a sweet and sour apple sauce, is our third option for a fishy dish to sate your growing appetite. It's a commonly known fact that everything tastes better when it's deep fried, and catfish is no exception! The tang of the sauce soaks into every battered, crunchy bite. The apple is tart yet sugary, an unlikely yet delicious counterpart to the fillet, which itself is delightfully soft. The Tawadang Thai kitchen are great at what they do and you'd be a fool to skip over this dish any time soon.  

4. The Catfish Steam-boat by Thanh Binh

And if you're not convinced by the above, this one truly is a fishy feast! The Lau Canh Chua Ca Bong Lau is a uniquely styled plate, an Asian steam-boat overflowing with a tremendous range of flavour. Fresh pineapple shows up with a citrusy bite. Rice vermicelli soaks in a viet broth and the catfish itself sits centre stage. Each of our four dishes is a wildly different take on catfish, but this one from Thanh Binh certainly takes the cake when it comes to presentation and boldness of taste. Ultimate yum. 

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