Rustic & Spicy Laotian Fish Soup with Grilled Eggplants, Oyster Mushrooms and Herbs (ต้มแจ่วปลา ; dtom jeaw pla)

Click to listen to the Thai name pronunciation Listen to the Thai name pronunciation
By: Hanuman

Dtom Jeaw Pla is a Laotian fish soup recipe which is easy to prepare. It is similar to a Northern Thai dish called “Aw Jeaw Pla” (เอ๊าะแจ่วปลา) which is popular among the Tai Lue people (ไทลื้อ).

Dtom Jeaw Pla is a rustic and spicy fish soup that is far from being unsophisticated. There is something humble, genuine, and unpretentious about it, which makes you fall in love with it.

Its humble countryside charm and surfeit of tastes quickly placed it high on my personal list of favorite dishes.

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The fresh essence of fish cooked to perfection melds with the earthy tones of the grilled ingredients, the eggplants, shallots, chilies and garlic. It has a heavenly silky broth with a scent of lemongrass, which is generously lifted up by a handful of fresh herbs, lemon basil, saw coriander and spring onions.

Dtom Jeaw Pla is a native dish suggestive of nature, a rural reflection of simplicity but no less the savoir vivre of the region.

Farmer returns home after long and hard day work, exhausted, he hands to his wife his catch of fresh river fish, while she is gathering firewood, vegetables and herbs from the garden to prepare him a tasty hot soup, which along with generous ball of sticky rice will relieve his tired.

Recipe for Dtom Jeaw Pla, A Rustic & Spicy Laotian Fish Soup with Grilled Eggplants, Oyster Mushrooms and Herbs (สูตรทำต้มแจ่วปลา)
Hanuman from Thaifoodmaster
Dtom Jeaw Pla is a rustic and spicy fish soup that is far from being unsophisticated. There is something humble, genuine, and unpretentious about it, which makes you fall in love with it.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Laotian
Servings 4


  • 400 g tilapia fish (ปลานิล) cut into wide stripes.
  • 2 pieces long eggplants (มะเขือยาว)
  • 3-4 cloves Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย)
  • 10-12 fresh red Thai bird’s eye chili (phrik kee noo) (พริกขี้หนููแดง)
  • 3 pieces shallots (หอมแดง)
  • 1 piece fresh banana chili (phrik yuak) (พริกหยวก)
  • 5 cups water (น้ำเปล่า)
  • 2 teaspoon rock salt (เกลือสินเธาว์)
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce (น้ำปลา) or fermented fish sauce (naam pla ra) (น้ำปลาร้าปรุงรส)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (ตะไคร้)
  • 120 g oyster mushrooms (generic) (เห็ดนางรม)
  • 1 cup lemon basil (ใบแมงลัก)
  • 1/4 cup spring onion (ต้นหอม) finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sawtooth coriander (ผักชีฝรั่ง) roughly chopped


  • 400 กรัม เนื้อปลานิล หรือ เนื้อปลาน้ำจืดอื่น ๆ ก็ได้
  • 2 ลูก มะเขือยาว
  • 3-4 กลีบ กระเทียมกลีบใหญ่
  • 10-12 เม็ด พริกขี้หนูแดง
  • 3 หัว หอมแดง
  • 1 เม็ด พริกหยวก
  • 5 ถ้วย น้ำเปล่า
  • 2 ซ้อนชา เกลือป่น
  • 2 ช้อนโต๊ะ น้ำปลา หรือ น้ำปลาร้าต้มสุก
  • 2 ต้น ตะไคร้
  • 120 กรัม เห็ดนางฟ้า
  • 1 ถ้วย ใบแมงลัก
  • 1/4 ถ้วย ต้นหอมซอย
  • 1/4 ถ้ว ผักชีฝรั่งซอย


  • Grill the eggplants over charcoal grill or in the oven.
  • Grill the garlic, banana chili, read Thai chilies and shallots.
    ใช้ไม้แหลมเสียบ หอมแดง พริกหยวก กระเทียม พริกขี้หนู แล้วนำไปเผาบนเตาถ่าน
  • Peel the eggplants and save about a cup of its flesh.
    ลอกเปลือกมะเขือยาวออก จะได้เนื้อมะเขือยาวประมาณ 1 ถ้วย
  • Put the grilled red chilies into a mortar.
  • Add grilled and peeled garlic.
    แกะเปลือกกระเทียมเผาออก แล้วใส่กระเทียมลงในครก
  • Add grilled and peeled shallots.
    แกะเปลือกหอมแดงเผาออก แล้วใส่หอมแดงลงในครก
  • Add grilled and peeled banana chili.
    แกะเปลือกพริกหยวกเผาออก แล้วใส่พริกหยวกลงในครก
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt, to serve as abrasive.
    ใส่เกลือป่น 1 ช้อนชาลงไป
  • Pound all the ingredients together.
  • Pound it to a rough consistency.
    โขลกจนได้เนื้อพอหยาบ ๆ ไม่ต้องละเอียดมากนัก
  • Add the eggplants meat.
  • Pound the eggplants with the chili-garlic-shallots mix to homogeneous paste. Set-aside.
    โขลกจนเนื้อมะเขือยาวละเอียด เสร็จแล้วพักเอาไว้
  • Place water in a pot over high heat. Bruise the lemongrass stalks and add them to the pot.
    ใส่น้ำเปล่าลงในหม้อ ตั้งไฟต้มจนน้ำเดือด ใส่ตะไคร้ทุบลงไป
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
    ใส่เกลือ 1 ช้อนชาลงไป
  • Add fish sauce (or Pla Ra)
    เติมน้ำปลา หรือ น้ำปลาร้าต้มสุก ลงไป
  • Bring the water to a strong boil, then add the fish and avoid stirring.
    เมือน้ำเดือดจัด ให้ใส่เนื้อปลาลงไป และ ห้ามคนเพราะจะทำให้มีกลิ่นคาว

  • Add the mushrooms.
  • Let the soup boil until the mushrooms and fish are done.
    ต้มน้ำต่อไปเรื่อยประมาณ 5 นาที หรือ จนเห็ดสุก
  • Add the eggplants-chili paste.
    นำส่วนผสมที่โขลกเตรียมเอาไว้แล้ว ใส่ลงไป
  • Stir well.
    คนให้เข้ากัน พยายามคนเบา ๆ อย่าให้เนื้อปลาเละ
  • Turn off the heat before adding the chopped spring onions and saw coriander.
    ปิดไฟ และ ใส่ต้นหอมซอย ผักชีฝรั่งซอยลงไป
  • Add lemon basil.
    ใส่ใบแมงลักลงไป แล้วเป็นอันเสร็จ
  • Serve.
Tried this recipe?We’d love to see it – tag it #THAIFOODMASTER on Instagram! Please leave a comment to let us know how it was!

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9 years ago

ขอบคุณครับ สำหรับเมนูที่ไม่เคยได้เห็นมาก่อน

9 years ago


I picked some eggplants from my garden today and I was wondering what to do with them. I thought I would check to see if you have a recipe using eggplants. I’m glad I did because I saw this fish soup recipe. I have a sea bass in the freezer, and I have the other ingredients on hand, except for the lemon grass, so I had to omit it. None of the local supermarkets carrries it, and the nearest Asian market is several miles away from my home.

The dish is absolutely delicious. The Thai chili is an added bonus, since I love food with any kind of chili in it. Tomorrow, I will go to the nursery to look for a lemon grass to plant in the garden. I actually only started planting herbs when I was going back and forth to Thailand every year for a few years. The first time I was there, I spent weeks visiting different sois. The hustle and bustle was fascinating, and the sights and smell coming from the stalls of the street vendors filled my senses. I watched all the grilling, frying, boiling and stewing. I examined all the ingredients and I noticed that they use several kinds of herbs in a dish, especially if it’s fish. (I also had this crazy desire to take home one of those already seasoned giant woks.) I tasted and ate everything. Almost exclusively, all the food that I consumed came from the street vendors, especially since I discovered that the food is better than the food at the restaurant. On most nights, I ventured out to join the late night revelers. I was absolutely enthralled watching the vendors put all the chairs and tables all over the streets for the deluge of the night people. What a life! On those nights, I went home completely satiated and happy…and all my dreams were filled with food.

Thank you, Hanuman.


9 years ago

Thanks for the freezing tip on the lemon grass. I will do exactly what you said. I have to check if there is a lemon basil in the nursery. I just used the basil that I have growing in the garden. Today, I checked the two local nurseries for the lemon grass, but they didn’t have it. I’ll check the other nurseries farther from my house this weekend. As for the kaffir lime leaves, I’m glad to tell you that it was the first tree that I bought when I returned from my first trip to Thailand. It’s been growing nicely ever since. What an investment! I already got my money’s worth many times over. I tried to grow ginger and galangal a couple of times, but they rotted in the ground.

Thank you, Hanuman.

8 years ago

Hello, I just found out this blog, and thank you for sharing all these dishes.
I really like Thai food.

8 years ago


8 years ago

น่ากินมากๆค่ะ ไว้จะทำกินมั่ง ขอบคุณค่ะ

8 years ago

This reminds me of my moms cooking! Thanks for sharing! I live in uk so hard to find authentic dishes.

albert wilson
albert wilson
7 years ago

When I was in Thailand and was invited for a vegetable carving session in Meredian hotel I had the opportunity to taste this eggplant recipe. It was fun to eat!

Eva Mondragon
Eva Mondragon
7 years ago

Hi Hanuman,

I’ve been missing your posts, but I’m still cooking a lot based on your many delicious recipes. I have a new neighbor – for almost a year now. One day, he saw me working in my front garden and asked me if I eat fish. I said yes, and told him that I buy them if I see good ones in the market. He said that he goes fishing with his friend at least once a month. He asked me if I would buy from him. So, I said yes. The first fish that he delivered was a sea bass. It was almost two ft. long and was still alive. It took me almost an hour and a half scaling it and getting the guts out. Needless to say, I wasn’t ready for this. When I buy the fish from the market, they scale and clean it for me. I didn’t have a fish scaler, so I just used a big knife. There were scales flying all over my kitchen sink. I had difficulty getting rid of the gills. I had to use my industrial scissors to pry them out of the head. After several rinses, I sliced it into several portions, set them onto the paper towel to drain completely, them put them in freezer bags and stored in the freezer.

Anyway, five more fishes of almost the same size were delivered to me, but I became adept at cleaning them, so it doesn’t take that much longer anymore. I cooked them in several different ways; tomorrow, I will make your fish soup recipe.

Cheers, Hanuman!


The next day, I went to the Asian market and bought a fish scaler. I also bought two bunches of lemon grass, soaked them in the water until they sprouted roots and planted them in the back garden. They’re all growing beautifully, so I just cut a stalk or two whenever I need it in a recipe.

7 years ago

This soup looks fantastic! Do you think it would freeze well? I would like to make a double batch & freeze for work lunches.



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