Nam Tok Pla (AKA Seared Seabass Served with a Spicy Tamarind Sauce)

Sinchai Srivipa

Chiva-Som Head Chef

Aug 18, 2023

When translated literally, Nam Tok means “waterfall”. But when used to describe a recipe, generally refers to to the dripping juices of a beautifully cooked piece of meat.

While the dish typically features grilled or pan-fried meat (commonly beef or pork), we love this version that highlights seared seabass served with a spicy tamarind sauce. After all, given that the Kingdom of Thailand is made up of almost 1500 islands, it feels a wasted opportunity not to make this dish with a seafood-centric spin.

One tradition we do recommend sticking to is serving this Nam Tok Pla dish with sticky or glutinous rice, and a few slices of fresh cucumber. It makes for a delicious and refreshing meal with the kind of perfectly balances flavours that have made Thailand a foodies’ paradise.

Nam Tok Pla


  • 80g Seabass fillet
  • 15g white cabbage, shredded 
  • 15 g dressing (see below)
  • Garnishes (see below)

  • 1 tbsp Lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1.5 tsp Palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind juice
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp Toasted rice powder
  • A pinch of chili powder

  • 2 g shallots, sliced into rings
  • 5 g onion, thinly sliced, soak in cold water
  • 1 g spring onion, chopped
  • 1 g chopped corriander or Thai long parsley
  • 1 g Mint leaves
  • 2 g toasted rice powder
  • A pinch of chili powder


  • To prepare dressing, add tamarind juice, palm sugar, fish sauce and water then heat on a stove with medium heat. Stir everything until palm sugar has melted then add the toasted powder rice powder and chili, and set aside.
  • Pan sear the seabass until brown on both side, and keep aside.
  • To serve, place the cabbage in a dish, then top with the seared fish fillet, pour over with dressing.
  • To garnish, sprinkle the dish with shallots, onions, spring onion, corriander or Thai long parsley, mint leaves, roasted ground rice, and extra pinch or chilli powder.


By Sinchai Srivipa

Chiva-Som Head Chef

Chef Sinchai is the Head Chef of Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, Thailand. He started his culinary career path in 1989, when he received a Scholarship from the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel Bangkok, Thailand as an apprentice in the kitchen, later becoming part of their highly respected team. Following his dream to master his profession, he left Thailand and worked as a chef in restaurants all over the World. He joined Chiva-Som in 2009 as a sous chef. Since joining the talented team at Chiva-Som, he has participated in a number of high profile events hosted by world famous restaurants such as Mosimann’s in London in 2010, after which he flew to New York for Spa Finder Marketing activities in that same year. He was part of Louis Vuitton’s ‘Catwalk to Closet’ 2011 Event in London. With his significant contribution to Chiva-Som, he was seconded to be the personal chef to the royal family of Jordan and Chef de Cuisine for the Royal Palace’s kitchen at the Royal Hashemite Court, Amman Jordan for 2 years from 2013-2015.



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