Pangasius Hypothalamus is a riverine catfish cultivated in the Mekong region of SE Asia. Laos, Vietnam and Thailand are the main producers. Recently, the fish has gotten a lot of negative publicity. More objective info can be found here.
Guess what? I bought some frozen Pangasius fillet. It’s cheap and I’ve also heard that it’s delicious. Check out the packaging. Reputable company and sold by a reputable supermarket in Singapore. Can’t be that bad, right?
This is what frozen Pangasius looks like. Rather decent looking. I used one fillet for Chinese style steaming and two fillets for Thai style pla nerng manao.
For Chinese style steaming, I used tomatoes, ginger, mushrooms. The seasoning included light soya sauce, white pepper, sesame oil and hua diao wine. Nothing spicy here as this is meant for the kids.
Very decent results here. I don’t think anyone can tell that it’s a cheap freshwater fish. The flesh is soft, juicy and has very nice texture.
For Thai style steaming, I have lots of chopped garlic, green chilli, red chilli, lime juice, fish sauce and water. Cilantro is added after the fish has been steamed.
Pangasius seems to be a reasonably good alternative to sea bass for this Thai style pla nerng manao. Fragrant and spicy, it’s actually quite good. Try it.