Vietnamese-Style Fish 2.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Jun 13, 2018

This shortcut version of the classic sauce still enhances the natural sweetness of the fish, but the overall taste is surprisingly piquant.

Serve over rice or with a runny-yolk fried egg on top.

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When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

  • 12 ounces frozen white-fish fillets, preferably thick-cut
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 large shallot
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 lime
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish


Unwrap the fillets and place in a bowl of tap water while you prep the other ingredients.

Cut each green bean in half (crosswise or lengthwise). Mince the garlic and shallot; together is okay.

Whisk together the sugar, fish sauce and a tablespoon of the oil in a liquid measuring cup.

Drain the fish and pat dry, then cut it into chunks. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallot; stir for 1 minute, then add the fish sauce mixture. Cook for 1 minute, or until the sugar has dissolved, then add the fish. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, then add the green beans. Cook until those vegetables are just heated through, then remove from the heat.

Squeeze the juice of the lime half into the pan. Season with a pinch of the crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Divide between wide, shallow bowls; tear some mint leaves over each portion and serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Based on a recipe at

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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