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They're common carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio, either Cá dáy, Cá gái or Cá gáy in Vietnamese according to Fishbase). They're both caught in the wild and farmed in Laos. I think about 200 of the 700 species in the Mekong are in the carp family – so picking the right one is mostly guesswork. See http://www.fishbase.org/Country/CountrySpeciesSummary.cfm?Country=Cambodia&Genus=Cyprinus&Species=carpio%20carpio for more exhaustive info on these guys.

I had a feeling you'd come to the rescue on this, Phil. I remember you sent me a link to some fish ID website a while back. Thanks.

Rasa Malaysia

They are huge...look like Tilapia.


Wow.. Nice, Phil. As weird as it is, fishbase is exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for! I'm learning more and more about fish now, but tend to only know the Thai names! Cheers.


I can never remember the name of what this fish is called. I have to check with my parents the lao/thai name of it. But this fish tastes amazing when it's been grilled with just lemon grass and salt. YUM makes me want to go back to laos

Karen Dua

Here in Vientiane these are known as Paa Nin.

Term Paper

There are 773 species of fish in the Mekong River, 589 of them are to be found in the Laos currents. These pink and silver beauties got hooked and ended up straight-jacketed and on the slab at the market fishmonger's.Certainly this fish will very testy after cook.


this is a common carp, not the tilapia(pa nin).

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