We are honored to bring you this recipe by Pierre Thiam Restaurateur and Senegalese native. He is the Author of the cookbook YOLELE: Recipes from the heart of Senegal.  We hope you enjoy this recipe and check out the book as well. You can find further details on Yolele at Lake Isles Press.


  • 2 firm, white-flesh fish (carp, tilapia, or bass) (1 1⁄2 pounds each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or one 2-inch piece guedj
  • 5 to 6 okra pods (optional)
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 2 cups basmati rice


  1.  With a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 slashes on each side of the fish (about 1 inch deep). Rub salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice onto the outside of the fish and inside the slashes. Allow to marinate 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups water to a boil in a pot with a lid. Add the rice, return to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until tender, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the variety. Remove from heat.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and tomato until onion is soft but not brown. Add the fish and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the fish sauce or guedj. Simmer until half-cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the okra pods and the habanero and continue cooking until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the remaining lemon juice to the pan. Serve the fish on a platter with the sauce, vegetables, and rice on the side.


Source: Lake Isles Press

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