"This recipe is infused with flavours and ingredients from all over the world with mouth-watering results. The cod is cooked in turmeric and tomato, the sauce is spiked with fish sauce, lemongrass, cayenne pepper and chilli, and it is served with burghul and a delicate herb salad." – Chef Luke Nguyen

SERVES 2, as a main


175 g fine-grain instant burghul
80 ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 french shallots, diced
1 lemongrass stem, finely chopped, white part only
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch cayenne pepper
1 long red chilli, sliced
200g  cod fillet
edible flowers, to garnish
6 beetroot leaves
2 fennel fronds
1 handful rocket leaves
6 mint leaves
8 coriander leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Prepare the burghul according to the packet instructions.

Wash the herb salad ingredients in cold water, then dry them thoroughly. Roughly slice the beetroot leaves and fennel fronds and place in a mixing bowl with the remaining salad ingredients. Combine the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat, then add the olive oil. Add the garlic, shallot and lemongrass and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is fragrant and soft.

Add the turmeric and tomato and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until the tomato becomes soft.

Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, cayenne pepper, chilli and 60 ml water. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the cod and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until just cooked; the flesh will flake when tested with a fork.

Divide the burghul among serving plates. Arrange the cod and herb salad over the top. Garnish with edible flowers and serve.

Recipe from Luke's Book - Luke Nguyen's France: A Gastronomic Adventure. Click here to purchase the book now.

Phuong Nguyen