Pickle & Preserve

Vietnamese-Inspired Sweet & Spicy Catfish with Pickled Vegetables

October 19, 2009
Author Notes

This recipe was adapted from a recipe published in Food & Wine for catfish sandwiches. It is a real crowd pleaser - even those who claim they hate catfish end up getting up for seconds. It is also great for a dinner party - it looks like the dish takes more effort than it actually does and catfish is quite economical compared to other fish. - melissav —melissav

Test Kitchen Notes

Rare is the dish that manages to be healthy and pure without throwing it in your face. This one succeeds. Melissav's flavors are clean and bright, but there's richness from the glazed fish and yogurt sauce to keep the dish from being spare -- and the textures run the gamut from tender to crisp. We love the addition of toasted sesame seeds (it was the first time we'd toasted black sesame, and we were delighted by the results), and the technique of tossing the edamame in with the rice noodles to cook. Use any leftover pickled veggies in banh mi, or as an accompaniment for cured meats. - A&M —The Editors

  • Serves 4
  • Fish Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons Honey
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 Scallions, minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Ginger, minced or grated on microplane
  • 1 tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds, toasted
  • 1 pinch each of Salt and Pepper
  • 1.5 pounds Catfish
  • Remaining Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Carrots, cut into 4 pieces lengthwise, sliced thin
  • 1/2 Small Red Onion, sliced thin
  • 4-5 Radishes, sliced thin
  • 1/2 Cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon Honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 14 oz. Box of Rice Noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups Edamame
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
In This Recipe
  1. Marinate the Fish - Put the fish in a ziplock bag. Mix all of the remaining ingredients under Fish Ingredients together and pour in the ziplock bag. Put in the fridge while you prepare the remaining components or up to 2 hours.
  2. Pickle the Vegetables - Mix together the two vinegars, the 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, 1 teaspoon salt. Add the carrots, onions, radishes, and cucumber and mix together. Set aside for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Note - you can really use any combo of these veggies you wish.
  3. Make the yogurt sauce - Mix together the yogurt, 1 tablespoon Sriracha, 1/4 teaspoon honey, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  4. Make the noodles and edamame - Boil water and add the rice noodles. About 2 minutes before the noodles are done, add the edamame. Cook until al dente. Drain and Rinse with cold water. Return to the pot and just before serving, add the sesame seeds, 4-6 TB (to taste) of the vegetable pickling liquid, and salt to taste.
  5. Cook the fish: Broil for about 6-10 minutes until browned and cooked through. The cooking time really depends on the thickness of your fish.
  6. Assemble the Dish: In a shallow bowl or plate, place a mound of noodles and edamame, top with a piece of fish, drizzle the yogurt sauce over the fish, top with a scoop of the picked vegetables (drained of the pickling juice), and sprinkle with cilantro.
  7. Enjoy!
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