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Vietnamese Tilapia with Turmeric & Dill

Scott Phillips

Servings: 2

Sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, and chile make a simple yet classic sauce—one that’s practically requisite at any Vietnamese meal. Here it’s drizzled over quick-cooking fish fillets.


  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. minced jalapeno
  • 6 medium scallions
  • 1 small bunch fresh dill (about 3/4 oz.)
  • 2 tilapia fillets (about 12 oz. total)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 310
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 90
  • Fat (g): 10
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 85
  • Sodium (mg): 1630
  • Carbohydrates (g): 19
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 36


  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lime juice and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the fish sauce and jalapeno. Set aside.

    Trim the scallions and cut them into 2-inch-long pieces. Quarter the white and light-green pieces lengthwise; leave the dark-green pieces whole. Cut the dill into 2-inch-long pieces (you should have about 1/2 cup).

    Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the ginger, turmeric, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of black pepper all over the fillets.

    Heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tilapia and cook, flipping once, until just firm and opaque in the center of the thickest part, about 4 minutes total. Transfer the tilapia to two serving plates.

    Add the scallions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they just start to wilt, about 45 seconds. Add the dill and continue to cook until it has wilted slightly, about 15 seconds more. Pile the scallions and dill over the tilapia and serve the sauce on the side for drizzling.

Serve with Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Garlic, Ginger, and Scallions.


Rate or Review

Reviews (9 reviews)

  • User avater
    bakesalot | 04/20/2020

    This was disgusting. The photo is beautiful, and I loved the idea of lots of scallions and fresh dill on the tilapia; but the sauce, with way too much fish sauce and sugar, seeped into and ruined not only the lovely tilapia but our sides of rice and cabbage as well. This was one of the rare times neither one of us could eat more than a couple of bites of dinner. My bad: I should have remembered that fish sauce should be used much more sparingly.

  • User avater
    FredCo | 01/19/2013

    I think this is really good, my wife picked at the leftovers and she is not a tilapia fan. We made double the sauce for the next day. The kids ate it. The dill-green onion topping goes really well, but the recipe doesn't make enough! I would make four times as much as suggested and pile it on!!!

  • MommyDot | 08/25/2012

    I thought the flavors were disjointed. Beautiful presentation with the colors and textures, but too much sugar and fish sauce and not enough of the other tastes. Different, but not for me. My husband liked it. But he likes everything. Good guy to cook for.

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