Delicious Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe for Food Lovers

Are you tired of the same old catfish recipes that leave you feeling unsatisfied and bored? Do you want to try something new, exciting, and full of flavor? Look no further than ChuckwagonCookie’s Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe. As a home chef who loves throwing parties, I am always looking for creative and delicious recipes to impress my guests. This recipe is one of my favorites, and I’m excited to share it with you.

There’s something special about catfish – its tender meat has a slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with bold, spicy sauces. In this recipe, we soak the catfish fillets in milk to tenderize them before stir-frying them in a sauce made from brown sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce. The result is a dish that is full of umami and spicy flavors – just what you want from Thai food.

But what really makes this recipe stand out is the use of Thai basil or holy basil, a fragrant herb commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisine. The basil chiffonade adds an extra layer of freshness to the dish that takes it to new heights. I promise you won’t be disappointed when you take your first bite.

Don’t be intimidated by the unfamiliar ingredients or complexity of this dish – everything can be found at your local Asian market or ordered online. And once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, the recipe is easy enough for even novice cooks to master.

So why not try something new and serve up some Kra Pao Catfish at your next dinner party? It’s a great way to enjoy catfish in a completely different way – in a spicy Thai sauce infused with fragrant herbs – that might just become your new favorite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

ChuckwagonCookie's Thai Kra Pao Catfish
ChuckwagonCookie’s Thai Kra Pao Catfish

Attention foodies! Have you ever tasted a dish that’s sweet, full of umami flavors, and has a spicy kick to it? Look no further than this Thai Kra Pao Catfish recipe by ChuckwagonCookie.

Firstly, catfish (sometimes farm-raised) that is soaked in milk before being cooked in the recipe makes it slightly sweet, full of umami and satisfyingly tender. The catfish fillets are then stir-fried with zucchini, yellow and red bell peppers, onions and garlic cloves to give them a crispy texture. Secondly, the sauce made from brown sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and Thai Basil adds richness to the dish. But that’s not all – add some holy basil leaves to take this recipe to the next level.

The complexity of flavors in this recipe will make you want to take a trip to Thailand. It’s got everything you want from Thai spicy food (and more!). With every bite, your taste buds will experience a pleasing explosion of flavors that come together seamlessly. Not only is this dish delicious but it’s also healthy since it’s packed with vegetables and lean protein from the catfish.

Moreover, if you’re looking for a versatile dish that can be served for any occasion, look no further than the Kra Pao Catfish Recipe. It’s perfect for everything from weeknight dinners to parties or potluck gatherings. Served with rice, it’s an easy-to-make main course that will impress any guest.

In conclusion, this dish is a must-try not only for seafood lovers but for anyone looking for a unique culinary experience. The tantalizing flavor profile makes it one of the best Thai catfish recipes out there. So go ahead and cook up some Kra Pao Catfish today – your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to transport your taste buds to Southeast Asia with my Thai Kra Pao Catfish!
Get ready to transport your taste buds to Southeast Asia with my Thai Kra Pao Catfish!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for my delicious Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe:

For the Catfish Fillets:

  • 4 catfish fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup of milk for soaking catfish
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 small zucchini, halved and sliced

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

For Serving:

  • A handful of fresh Thai basil or holy basil leaves, roughly chopped or chiffonade
  • Cooked rice

All these ingredients are easy to find. You can get catfish fillets from your local grocery store or seafood market. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, you can use farm-raised catfish. The onions, garlic, and vegetables such as zucchini, yellow bell pepper and red bell pepper are available all year round at most stores. Additionally, the sauce ingredients are pantry staples that every home cook should have on hand.

The Recipe How-To

 That crispy and juicy catfish fillet is calling your name, trust me.
That crispy and juicy catfish fillet is calling your name, trust me.

Step 1: Soak the Catfish

First, soak the catfish fillets in milk for about an hour. This will help to tenderize and remove any fishy taste. When the fish is done soaking, rinse it off and pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 2: Prep the Vegetables and Sauce

Vegetables: Cut one medium-size zucchini, half of a yellow bell pepper, half of a red bell pepper, and one small onion into bite-sized chunks.

Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.

Step 3: Stir-Fry

In a wok or large skillet, heat up some oil on high heat. Add 3-4 cloves of minced garlic and stir until fragrant. Then, add the soaked and drained catfish pieces and stir-fry for a few minutes until they start to brown.

Push the fish aside and add the chopped vegetables to the pan. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes until the veggies start to soften but still have a bit of crunch.

Next, pour in the prepared sauce and mix everything together. Keep stir-frying on high heat until everything is coated in that delicious sauce.

Step 4: Add Thai Basil

Finally, add a handful of Thai basil leaves and stir to wilt them into the dish. Turn off the heat.

Step 5: Serve

Garnish with some more chiffonaded Thai basil leaves on top. This dish goes great with rice, noodles or even as lettuce wraps.

Enjoy your ChuckwagonCookie Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe. Bon Appetit!

Substitutions and Variations

 My secret ingredient for this recipe? Love. And maybe a bit of fish sauce too.
My secret ingredient for this recipe? Love. And maybe a bit of fish sauce too.

I know some of you may not have access to all the ingredients listed in this recipe. But, don’t worry! There are a few variations and substitutions you can make.

Firstly, if you can’t find catfish fillets, feel free to substitute them with any other firm white fish, such as tilapia or cod. If you prefer chicken, you can use ground chicken or boneless, skinless chicken breast and cut them into small pieces.

If you’re not a big fan of bell peppers, you can substitute them with zucchini or eggplant. They add a great earthy flavor and texture to the dish.

For those who can’t find Thai basil, regular basil will work just fine. However, Thai basil has a slightly different flavor that adds an authentic touch to the dish.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian version of this dish, simply omit the fish sauce, and use soy sauce instead. You can also substitute the fish fillet with tofu or tempeh for a protein-rich dish.

Finally, if you like your food extra spicy, add some bird’s eye chili or dried red chili flakes to the stir fry sauce. It will give it an extra kick that is sure to wake your taste buds up!

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to get experimental with this recipe by making these substitutions and variations. You might even end up discovering a new favorite flavor combination!

Serving and Pairing

 If you're a fan of Thai flavors, you'll fall head over heels for this dish.
If you’re a fan of Thai flavors, you’ll fall head over heels for this dish.

Now that you’ve made this delicious Thai Kra Pao Catfish recipe, it’s time to think about how best to serve and pair it. The dish is full of bold flavors that pair well with a variety of sides and drinks.

One great option to serve alongside your catfish is steamed rice. The rice will soak up the rich and flavorful sauce, making each bite even more satisfying. Consider using jasmine rice or sticky rice for a traditional Thai twist.

To balance out the bold flavors in the catfish, consider also serving some veggies on the side. Sautéed zucchini or roasted bell peppers, either yellow or red, are great options that will complement the dish nicely.

When it comes to drinks, a crisp white wine would be perfect to help cut through the spiciness of the dish. A Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc would be excellent choices. If you prefer a non-alcoholic option, consider serving Thai iced tea or iced green tea.

If you have any leftovers (although we doubt you will!), they can easily be reheated for a quick lunch the next day. We recommend storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

The versatility of this dish means it can be served for a casual weeknight dinner with friends or as the main course at your next dinner party. The combination of sweet, spicy, and umami flavors makes this recipe a real crowd-pleaser. So go ahead and impress your guests with this mouth-watering chuckwagoncookie Thai Kra Pao Catfish recipe!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't forget to sprinkle some fresh cilantro and Thai basil on top for an extra punch of flavor.
Don’t forget to sprinkle some fresh cilantro and Thai basil on top for an extra punch of flavor.

One of the great things about this Thai Kra Pao Catfish recipe is that it can be prepared ahead of time, whether it’s for a busy weeknight meal, potluck or large party.

To make ahead, you can prepare the dish up to the point where you add in the zucchini and bell peppers. Once cool, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, reheat in a pan over medium heat, adding in the zucchini and peppers during the last few minutes of cooking.

If you have leftover Thai Kra Pao Catfish, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply warm up in the pan over medium heat until heated through.

When reheating or storing, be careful not to overcook the catfish as this can cause it to become dry and tough. Make sure to label your containers with dates and contents for easy reference when storing multiple dishes.

With these simple tips, you can enjoy this delicious dish even on your busiest days without sacrificing flavor or quality!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The crunchy green beans
The crunchy green beans

Now that you have learned how to make the ChuckwagonCookie’s Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe, it’s time to ensure that your dish turns out as best as it can. Here are some tips and recommendations that I have gathered from my own experience in making this recipe.

Firstly, when prepping your ingredients, make sure to slice them thinly and uniformly. This will ensure even cooking and a balanced flavor throughout the dish. Additionally, be sure to pat dry the catfish fillets before soaking them in milk. This step helps to remove any unwanted fishy taste and odor.

When making the sauce, be sure to taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. If you prefer a spicier dish, add more Thai chili peppers, or if you like it sweeter, adjust the brown sugar amount.

For the best texture, use a wok or a cast-iron skillet for stir-frying. Both allow for even heat distribution and can hold high temperatures, which leads to a crispy exterior and tender interior for the catfish.

Lastly, don’t forget to garnish your dish with Thai basil chiffonade before serving. The basil brings a refreshing aroma and complements the spicy and sweet flavors of the dish.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your ChuckwagonCookie’s Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe turns out delicious every time. Enjoy!


As a home chef, I always receive questions about my recipes. In this section, I will address some of the most frequently asked questions about my Thai Kra Pao Catfish recipe. These questions range from the ingredients used in the recipe to the cooking process and beyond. So, if you’re new to this recipe or just need some additional information, read on for some helpful answers!

Why do you soak catfish in milk?

To get rid of any fishy flavor, let the catfish soak in milk for an hour before frying. I recommend coating the fillets in a cornmeal crust for a crunchy bite that’s sure to impress. Judge whether the catfish is cooked through by observation; look for mostly still, with fillets afloat. Follow these simple steps to create a deliciously fried catfish dish.

Does farm raised catfish need to be soaked in milk?

When it comes to catfish, the larger wild-caught ones may exhibit a slightly unpleasant “muddy” flavor that could affect the overall taste of your dish. One solution to reduce this aftertaste is to soak the catfish in milk or buttermilk. However, this step may not be necessary if you are using farm-raised catfish as they generally do not have the same issue.

What should I soak catfish in?

Before frying catfish, it’s best to soak it in buttermilk as it helps eliminate the unpleasant taste that wild caught or certain farm-raised catfish can have. These fish often have a muddy flavor, which can be mitigated by soaking it in buttermilk.

Can you soak catfish in regular milk?

If you’re planning to fry up some catfish, it’s always a good idea to do a little prep work first. Since catfish is a bottom-feeder, it can sometimes have a slight gritty taste that might not be to everyone’s liking. To combat this, soaking the catfish in buttermilk or regular milk before frying can really make a difference. As a scribe for a home chef who loves throwing parties, I highly recommend this step to achieve a better taste and texture for your fried catfish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, ChuckwagonCookie’s Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe is a true flavor explosion that will leave you and your guests longing for more. With its unique blend of spices and its succulent fish, this recipe is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to indulge in a delicious and authentic Thai meal.

Whether you choose to serve it with rice or noodles, this dish is sure to impress. So why not take some time to make this recipe at home and enjoy the mouth-watering flavors of Thai cuisine?

With our easy-to-follow instructions, helpful tips, and extensive list of substitutions and variations, you’ll be able to create the perfect version of this recipe that suits your tastes and preferences.

So go ahead and give it a try! Trust us, ChuckwagonCookie’s Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe is a great way to explore new culinary horizons and make your next gathering one to remember. Bon appétit!

ChuckwagonCookie's Thai Kra Pao Catfish

ChuckwagonCookie’s Thai Kra Pao Catfish Recipe

Slightly sweet, full of umami and as spicy as you want it, this take on Thai Kra Pao is a great way to serve catfish! The Holy Basil (or Thai basil) is essential, look for it in a local Asian market! If you can't find Thai peppers, use jalapeno, cayenne or serrano instead.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Calories 355.9 kcal


  • 2 -3 catfish fillets
  • 1 cup fish breading
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil, chiffonade cut
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 -5 Thai peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 zucchini, julienned


  • Bread and fry the catfish in 1/2 inch of oil for about 3 minutes per side.
  • Julienne cut the onions and bell peppers, chop the hot peppers.
  • Saute the onions and peppers in a wok or skillet until tender.
  • Beware, inhaling pepper fumes is painful!
  • Add the garlic and zucchini, saute for a few minutes.
  • Add sauce ingredients, let simmer for a few minutes.
  • Thicken if desired with 2 tsp corn starch mixed into couple ounces of water.
  • Place fried catfish on a bed of basmati rice, spoon sauce over the top and sprinkle generously with the Thai basil -- enjoy!

Your Own Notes


Serving: 273gCalories: 355.9kcalCarbohydrates: 30.3gProtein: 34.5gFat: 10.9gSaturated Fat: 2.4gCholesterol: 89.2mgSodium: 6097.2mgFiber: 3.1gSugar: 17g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Catfish, Thai
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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