Kanom Jeen Nam Ya Pa

Noodles With Thai Fish Curry Sauce (Kanom Jeen Nam Ya Pa)


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Kanom Jeen may seem like a difficult recipe to prepare, however the only real challenge is in finding some of the more exotic ingredients, however if you live near an Asian food store you should be able to find everything easily. The flavours are strong and complex, but delicious, and you can customise the dish by serving it with either rice noodles or rice, alongside a selection of fresh vegetables.

In this recipe we have used homemade fish balls however you can just use store bought ones. We are also using cod fillet, however the dish will work well with any white fish. We wanted to eat this spicy so have used 8 red bird eye chillies, but you may want to use less if you want the heat to be milder.

Preparation Time
Cooking Time
Serving Size



Kanom Jeen Nam Ya Pa Ingredients ListKanom Jeen Nam Ya Pa Ingredients

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  • 350g cod (or any white fish)
  • 1 cup of fish balls
  • 3 lemongrass cut in half
  • 4 slices of galangal
  • 8 red bird eye chillies
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste
  • 3/4 cup krachai root chopped up
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 shallots cut into quarters
  • 3/4 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 1/2 litres water
  • 1/2 cup of chopped coriander and spring onion
  • 1/2 cup of sliced spring onion
  • Rice noodles (or rice)
  • Vegetables of your choice

Special Cooking Equipment Used

Cooking instructions


Step 1: Heat 1 1/2 litres of water in a wok or pot until it starts to gently boil, then add 3 lemongrass cut in half, 4 lime leaves, 8 red bird eye chillies, 3/4 cup of chopped krachai root, 2 shallots cut into quarters and 4 slices of galangal. Give everything a stir and let the ingredients cook for about 3 minutes.

preparing the kanom jeen

Step 2: Now add 350g of cod or white fish, and gently stir, taking care not to break up the fish. Let the fish cook for about 5 minutes, then spoon out all of the herbs and vegetables into a bowl, and then carefully spoon the fish into another bowl. To make things easier, throw the galangal away as we don’t need this anymore, and separate the lemongrass and lime leaves from the chillies, shallots and krachai root, as we will use these later. Also keep the remaining broth in the wok as we will also use this later.

adding the white fish

Step 3: Now grab a deep mortar and pestle, and add the shallots, chillies, and krachai root. Crush everything into a paste, then add 3/4 tbsp of shrimp paste and 3 tbsp of red curry paste, and mix in. Finally add in the 350g of cooked cod or white fish, and crush with the paste, until everything is mixed together thoroughly.

making the fish paste for kanom jeen

Step 4: Now heat the broth in the wok from earlier on a high heat, and once it starts to simmer, spoon in the paste we made in our mortar and pestle. Also add the lemongrass and lime leaves, and stir everything together thoroughly. Once the broth begins to boil, add 1 cup of fish balls (you can see how to make homemade fish balls here)

Step 5: Stir and cook the fish balls in curry sauce for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, add 1/2 cup of sliced spring onion, give everything one last stir, and then serve! We served ours poured over some rice noodles, a boiled egg, green beans and cabbage, and used coriander and spring onion to garnish. You can also have this with rice if you wish, and whichever vegetables you prefer.

boiling the kanom jeen nam ya pa

  • Kanom Jeen Nam Ya Pa
  • Noodles With Fish Curry Sauce

We hope you enjoyed the recipe! Please do give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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