Chefs' Recipes

Amy Chanta and Palisa Anderson's khao padt bpla khem (mackerel fried rice)

A simple fried rice that punches above its weight, thanks to the addition of salted mackerel.

By Palisa Anderson & Amy Chanta
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
"This salted mackerel version of crab fried rice was my mum's go-to dish when she craved rice," says Palisa Anderson. "Of the many lessons I learnt about Thai food from my mother, the one recurring and valuable tutelage is that sometimes simple really is best."


  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil, plus extra, if necessary
  • 50 gm salted Thai mackerel fillet (see note)
  • 1 red shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400 gm cooked jasmine rice
  • 5 stalks gai lan (Chinese broccoli), thinly sliced
  • 5 red birdseye chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce or to taste
  • 1 tsp raw caster sugar
  • Sliced star fruit and lime wedges, to serve


  • 1
    Heat a large wok with oil over high heat. Add mackerel and fry, turning frequently, until golden (5 minutes). Remove wok from heat, discard bones and flake meat. Set aside.
  • 2
    Reduce heat to medium (add extra oil, if necessary), add shallot and garlic and stir-fry until slightly softened (2 minutes). Add rice and mackerel, and stir-fry, tossing frequently, until mackerel has broken up into small pieces and disappeared through the rice (3 minutes). Add chilli, gai laan, fish sauce and sugar and toss until heated through (2-3 minutes); season to taste. Serve with star fruit and lime wedges.


Salted mackerel cutlets are available vacuum-packed from Thai and Asian grocery stores.