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Vietnamese Turmeric Fish
with mixed herbs / bok choy / rice

Active: 40 Total: 40

This traditional fried fish exemplifies everything we love about Vietnamese food - layers of contrasting flavors and textures and lots of fresh herbs. Our streamlined version is quick and easy to make on a weeknight, so you don't have to skip any of the delicious toppings!
Smarts: Cilantro and dill are traditionally used in this dish, but mint also works beautifully here, so feel free to swap it for the dill if you prefer.



White or Brown Rice:
  • Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
Vietnamese Turmeric Fish:
  • Tilapia fillets - 1 lb (sub any white fish)
  • Peanuts - 1/2 cup , chopped
  • Green onions - 4 stalks , chopped; green and white parts combined
  • Cilantro, fresh - 1 cup , stems removed and roughly chopped
  • Dill, fresh - 1/2 cup , stems removed and roughly chopped (sub fresh mint leaves)
  • Water - 1/4 cup
  • Lime juice - 1/4 cup
  • Fish sauce - 2 Tbsp
  • Sugar - 2 Tbsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
  • Cornstarch - 1/3 cup
  • Turmeric - 3 tsp
  • Salt - 2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
Stir Fried Bok Choy:
  • Bok choy - 1 lb , chopped
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Oyster sauce - 2 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, rice - 1 Tbsp
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 tsp


  1. Rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Tilapia - Defrost if frozen and pat dry.

  3. Bok choy / Garlic / Peanuts - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Green onions / Cilantro / Dill - Prep as directed. 

  5. Make sauce - In a small bowl, whisk together water, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir until sugar is dissolved.

  6. Season fish - Season fish filets with some salt and pepper. Combine cornstarch, turmeric, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge fish in cornstarch mixture, shake off any excess, and set aside on a plate (or place fish and cornstarch mixture in a large zip-top bag and shake to coat the fish filets).

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  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet with cooking oil (portion for bok choy) over medium heat. Add bok choy and garlic to heated oil. Saute bok choy until leaves are tender and stalks are crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

  2. While bok choy cooks, whisk together oyster sauce, vinegar, and soy sauce. Pour mixture into skillet and toss with bok choy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper if needed and transfer to a serving bowl. Cover to keep warm.

  3. Wipe out the skillet and return to medium heat. Add first portion of cooking oil (portion for fish) and add fish to heated oil. Cook until the outside of the fish is golden brown and crisp and the inside flakes easily with a fork - about 2 to 3 minutes per side (adjust cook times if using thicker fish filets). Transfer fish to a serving plate.

  4. Return pan to heat and add second portion of cooking oil (portion for fish). When the oil is shimmering, add green onions and peanuts and saute for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add cilantro and dill to the pan. Toss everything together to combine.

  5. If rice was made ahead, warm it in the microwave.

  6. Form a bed of rice on each serving plate and top with fish filets. Spoon herb mixture over fish and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy with bok choy on the side.



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