This delicious fish dish from Canadian Living’s The International Collection is delicious and colourful, thanks to the turmeric in the marinade. Bursting with flavour, the fish is served over vermicelli noodles, with a tangy sauce and pickled shallots.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your fish sauce does not contain MSG; I use Cock brand. Use turmeric with no colour or anti-caking agents added and fresh lime juice.

Marinate the fish in the fridge for about an hour

The fish is served with a tangy sauce and pickled shallots

Hanoi-style vermicelli noodles with fish


2 shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh dill

1 tbsp (15 ml) fish sauce

1 tbsp (15 ml) white vinegar

1 tbsp (15 ml) water

1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil

1-1/2 tsp (7 ml) minced gingerroot

3/4 tsp (4 ml) ground turmeric

1/2 tsp (2 ml) pepper

1 lb (454 g) tilapia fillets

8 oz (227 g) rice vermicelli

2 cups (500 ml) bean sprouts

1 cup (250 ml) packed fresh coriander leaves

1/2 cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts

Noodle Sauce

2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (60 ml) finely shredded carrot

2 tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce

2 tbsp (30 ml) lime juice

2 tsp (10 ml) white vinegar

1 Thai (bird’s-eye) chili pepper, minced

Pickled Shallots

3 shallots, thinly sliced in rings

1 tbsp (15 ml) white vinegar

1/4 tsp (1 ml) granulated sugar


Using mortar and pestle, mash shallots with garlic to make paste. (Or very finely chop with knife.) Stir in dill, fish sauce, vinegar, water, oil, ginger, turmeric and pepper; spread all over fish. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Noodle Sauce: Meanwhile, whisk sugar with 2/3 cup (150 ml) hot water until dissolved; let cool. Stir in carrot, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar and chili pepper; set aside.

Pickled shallots: Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine shallots, vinegar and sugar; set aside.

Broil fish on greased broiler pan until nicely charred and flakes easily when tested with fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut into 4 portions.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling water, cook noodles according to package instructions, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well; shake. Set aside to air-dry.

Divide noodles among 4 large bowls. Top with bean sprouts, coriander, fish and pickled shallots; sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with noodle sauce, adding as desired and tossing to coat. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living’s International Collection