Originally, this dish was found exclusively in Thailand’s central region, as most of the fish were to be found in rivers and canals and had an earthy smell which required cooking with herbs to suppress. Steaming these freshwater fish with herbs such as lime, ginger, galangal, and lemongrass made them infinitely more aromatic and appetizing. In most recipes, it is not seen as mandatory to use only freshwater fish, but the most common species are Asian sea bass or white and red tilapia.
At present, we can find this dish on the menu in most restaurants across the country and it’s always popular with large dining groups. The focal point of the dish, apart from the freshness of the fish, lies in the sauce, which has to be perfectly balanced with sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavors in just the right measures. When served with freshly steamed rice, the dish is irresistible.