Go Back
+ servings
vietnamese fish
Print Recipe
4.5 from 12 votes

Vietnamese Crispy Fish with Cilantro

I normally use a wok to make this recipe, but a deep-sided saute pan or frying pan is just as good. You can use any fish here, but I prefer a lean, white fish. Good choices would be lingcod, Pacific rockfish, tilefish, walleye, yellow perch, catfish, red drum, cobia, sturgeon, striped bass, haddock... you get the point. Serve this with simple steamed rice and you have a great weekday dinner.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: fish, fried foods
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 2 pounds lean white fish, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, about 3 cups, sliced thin from root to stem
  • A piece of ginger about the size of your thumb, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 to 5 jalapenos or other hot chiles, seeded and sliced thin
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes


  • Sprinkle salt over the fish. Heat the peanut oil in a large saute pan or wok and add the fish. Sear the fish in the oil so one side of it gets a nice, golden brown crust. Don't flip the fish, as you will finish cooking it later. Remove each piece of fish as it browns.
  • When all the fish is done, add the onions and ginger and a little more oil if needed. Stir-fry over very high heat until the edges of the onions begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, jalapeno chiles, fish sauce and water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the fish and gently toss everything to combine. Cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Gently mix in the cilantro and turn off the heat. Add the lime juice and serve with steamed rice.


Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1534mg | Potassium: 813mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg