Thai-Style Bluefish Salad

Laap pla duk, a Thai catfish salad, is the inspiration for this flavor-packed dish of flaked bluefish fillets tossed with fish sauce, lime juice, spicy red Thai chiles, and fresh mint and cilantro. Toasted and powdered jasmine rice adds aroma and helps unify the dish, absorbing flavors from the other ingredients. Serve the salad with lettuce leaves, lime wedges, and cooked rice so each diner can assemble their own lettuce wraps. Rich, oily bluefish are abundant in the waters off Cape Cod. If you can't find bluefish, another fatty fish like mackerel is a good substitute.

Thai-Style Bluefish Salad
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs



  • 6 medium scallions, roots trimmed

  • 6 (6-inch) cilantro sprigs

  • 1 ½ pounds skinless bluefish fillets (3/4 inch thick)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • 3 tablespoons uncooked white jasmine rice

  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 3 limes) 

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 medium-size fresh red Thai chiles, stemmed and minced (2 1/2 teaspoons)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cane sugar 

  • 1 small red onion (about 5 ounces), halved and thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  • ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped

  • 3 medium scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Additional Ingredients

  • Cooked white jasmine rice, for serving

  • Lettuce leaves, for serving

  • Lime wedges, for serving


Make the fish:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange 3 scallions and 3 cilantro sprigs in a large ceramic baking dish. Arrange fish fillets on top; sprinkle evenly with salt. Place remaining 3 scallions and remaining 3 cilantro sprigs on fish; drizzle with lime juice. Roast in preheated oven until fish flakes easily with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Flake fish into small pieces. Discard scallions, cilantro sprigs, and drippings in baking dish.

Make the salad:

  1. Toast rice in a small skillet over medium, stirring often, until light golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder; let cool about 5 minutes. Grind into a powder. (Alternatively, grind using a mortar and pestle.)

  2. Whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, chiles, and sugar in a large bowl. Add fish, onion, cilantro, mint, scallions, salt, and ground toasted rice; stir well. Serve with cooked rice, lettuce leaves, and lime wedges.

Make Ahead

Bluefish salad can be refrigerated overnight. Let stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes, and fold in herbs just before serving.


Dry, lime-inflected Riesling: Pewsey Vale Dry Riesling

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