Vietnam Fried Tilapia

Fried tilapia with shredded mango

  • serves 6 as a starter
  • Easy

This fried tilapia recipe is gluten free and really easy to make. The batter won't go really golden, but it will stay crispy and is perfect for soaking up the nuoc cham (dipping sauce)


*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards



  • spring onions 3, cut into long shreds
  • palm sugar 1 tbsp
  • limes 2, juiced
  • fish sauce 3 tbsp
  • bird’s-eye chillies 2, finely sliced
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • firm mango 1, halved, peeled and stoned
  • rice flour 150g
  • soda water 200ml
  • lemongrass paste (from a jar) 1 tsp
  • tilapia or sea bass 4 fillets, pin boned
  • groundnut or vegetable oil
  • mint leaves a large handful, shredded


  • Step 1

    Put the spring onion shreds into a bowl of iced water to curl up. Whisk the sugar, lime juice and fish sauce until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the chilli and garlic. It should be sweet, sour, hot and salty. Add a little more lime or fish sauce to balance it, if you need to. Cut the mango into thin batons.

  • Step 2

    Whisk the rice flour, soda water and lemongrass with a pinch of salt. Score the skin of the tilapia fillets lightly in a diamond pattern, then cut into 2cm wide strips. Add to the batter.

  • Step 3

    Heat 4cm oil in a deep frying pan until it reaches 180C on a thermometer or a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. It should be hot but not smoking.

  • Step 4

    Drain the fish pieces from the batter for a second then gently lower into the hot oil. Turn in the oil with a slotted spoon and cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp and cooked through. Scoop out and drain on kitchen paper. Scoop out the frizzled bits of excess batter too, as these add an extra crunch.

  • Step 5

    Drain the spring onion and pat dry with kitchen paper. Put the fish onto plates, top with the mango, spring onion and the mint. Spoon over half the sauce, and serve the remainder in little bowls for dipping.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 293
  • Fat 11.6g
  • Saturates 2.3g
  • Carbs 28.2g
  • Sugars 8.4g
  • Fibre 1.4g
  • Protein 18.1g
  • Salt 1.6g