- Cut the fish into chunks, season with soy sauce or salt, then steam for 5 mins until the meat is fully cooked. Set the fish aside to cool.
- In the meantime, prepare the mango salad. In a mortar, pound 2-3 bird’s eye chillies until there are no big chunks, then add palm sugar and mash to a paste. Add fish sauce and lime juice and mix until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer paste to a bowl and add the shallots, dried shrimp, and julienned mango. Set aside to sit while you fry the fish.
- Once the fish is cool, transfer it to a bowl lined with muslin cloth. Wrap the cloth around the fish, twist, and squeeze as hard as you can to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Then, transfer the fish to a mortar and pestle and pound it until it’s fluffy with no chunks left.
- In a wok or a large pot, heat about 3 cm of oil over high heat. Now to put the fu (fluffiness) in the fish, the oil has to be heated to about 200℃.
- Once the oil is hot enough, sprinkle half of the fish into the oil. Be careful as the oil will bubble aggressively. While the fish cooks, try to tuck the edges of the fish and push the fish down to submerge in oil to fry and brown evenly. Once fish is golden brown, remove from oil with a slotted skimmer and set it on paper towels to drain.
- Place the fish on a serving plate and sprinkle with roasted peanuts. Garnish mango salad with chopped coriander (optional) and serve beside the fish. Serve the yum pla duk foo as a snack or as a main dish with steamed rice.