How to make Clay Pot Lemongrass-Steamed Fish and the recipes of Clay Pot Lemongrass-Steamed Fish

Clay Pot Lemongrass-Steamed Fish (Pla Nueng Morh Din)

Steaming a whole fish on a lattice of lemongrass in a clay pot creates a delicately flavored Thai dish, perfect for a family-style meal.

Time: 30 minutes (20 minutes active)
Makes: 2 servings as part of a multicourse family-style meal


  • ¾- to 1-pound whole trout, head and tail intact, scaled, gutted, and cleaned
  • 4 plump stalks lemongrass, trimmed and bruised
  • 1 tablespoon sea or kosher salt
  • ½ cup water, or more as needed


1 Preparing the Fish:

    • Lay the fish flat on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to make 3 or 4 diagonal bone-deep cuts on both sides of the fish, about 1 inch apart, perpendicular to the backbone.
    • Fold one lemongrass stalk in half and rub it all over the fish, inside and out. Discard after rubbing.
    • Gently rub the salt into the skin of the fish and inside its cavity.

    2 Setting up the Clay Pot:

      • Tear the remaining 3 lemongrass stalks into 4 strips each.
      • Lay the lemongrass strips in a grid-like pattern on the bottom of a 12- to 14-inch clay pot in 3 layers. Trim the stalks if needed to fit the pot.
      • Place the prepared fish on top of the lemongrass lattice in the pot, ensuring the tail is tucked in if necessary.
      • Add enough water to the pot to reach the bottom layer of lemongrass without touching the fish.

      3 Steaming the Fish:

        • Cover the clay pot and bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Once steam starts to appear from the hole in the lid (about 5 minutes), check the water level and add more if needed.
        • Steam the fish for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork at its thickest part. Check the water level once more during steaming to prevent drying out.

        4 Serving:

          • Serve the fish directly from the clay pot or carefully transfer it onto a serving plate using two spatulas.
          • Spoon the steaming liquid over the fish before serving to enhance flavors.


          • Choosing Fish: Any white fish with natural fat content works well, such as trout, Pacific cod, or striped bass.
          • Variations: For a richer flavor, consider adding sliced ginger or garlic to the lemongrass lattice.
          • Steaming Tips: Ensure the fish is evenly cooked by making the cuts into the flesh and monitoring the water level during steaming.

          Enjoy this tender and citrusy Clay Pot Lemongrass-Steamed Fish as part of a Thai-inspired meal, bringing out the natural flavors of the fish with minimal seasoning.

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