Hunting and gathering have always been basic functions of traditional Hmong culture. Fishing was always an available source of food and fish were abundant in supply. Many traditional Hmong dishes which incorporate fish are adopted from geological locations of residence such as Laos, Thailand, China, and Vietnam. Nowadays, in modern Hmong culture, fishing is less of a necessity as we can purchase fish from grocers. But the ingredients of this delicious dish remain (for the most part) the same as well as the flavor.
For as long as I can remember, my mom has always made boiled Tilapia at least once every few weeks for my dad. This dish is probably one of my dad’s favorites. It’s extremely nutritious and you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to make. The fresh herbs and vegetables assist in bringing out an amazingly rich taste and aroma. Let’s get started, shall we?
Meet the Main Ingredients
- 1/2 cup – Culantro (Not to be mistaken with Cilantro)
- 1/2 cup – Mint Leaves
- 1/2/ cup – Green Onions
- 1/2 cup – Cilantro (Not to be mistaken with Culantro)
- 10 peppers – Thai Chili Peppers (Optional)
- 2 stalks – Lemon Grass
- 1 – Tilapia Fish
- 5 cups water in pot
- 1 tbsp – salt
- Chop up the vegetables and herbs.
- Cut the Tilapia fish into four pieces as show in the photo above.
Let’s get cooking!
- Put 5 cups of water into cooking pot.
- Put the pot on the stove – high heat.
- Add the cut up Tilapia fish to the pot.
- Add the Thai chili peppers and lemon grass.
- Bring the pot to a boil.
- Add salt.
- Add the rest of the vegetables and herbs.
- Cook for a total of 30 minutes or until fish is fully cooked.
Presentation: Boiled Tilapia w/ herbs and veggies
- Take the pieces of Tilapia fish out from the pot and assemble them on a plate.
- Pour the fish broth over the fish.
- Spoon the herbs and vegetables over the fish as pictured above.
*Best served with a side of sticky rice.
Alternative: Try adding tomatoes for a kick of flavor 🙂