Lemongrass Poached Tilapia with Baby Bok Choy

A fragrant broth infused with lemongrass, shallots and chilis makes a delicious poaching liquid for tilapia fillets and tender baby bok choy. Served over cellophane noodles and drizzled with sauce, this combination is light, healthful and full of flavor.

Lemongrass Poached Tilapia with Baby Bok Choy

Lemongrass Poached Tilapia with Baby Bok Choy

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Tilapia fillets and baby bok choy are poached in a broth seasoned with chili, lemongrass and shallots and served over cellophane noodles.


  • 4 tilapia fillets, about 1 lb
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird chiles, or other variety of choice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, sliced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 6 ounces cooked cellophane noodles, see notes, or steamed rice


  • Season the fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and chili and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, sugar, lemongrass and chicken broth.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse the broth.
  • Strain the broth and return it to the pan. Add the fish, cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • While the fish is cooking, whisk the cornstarch and soy sauce together in a small bowl and plate a portion of cellophane noodles on each of 4 plates.
  • Once the fish has cooked for 3 minutes, gently add the bok choy, cover and continue cooking 2 minutes more, or until bok choy is crisp-tender and the fish is cooked through.
  • Place 3 pieces of bok choy on each plate and place a piece of fish on top of the noodles (or rice).
  • Raise the heat on the broth to high and add the soy-cornstarch mixture. Cook until bubbling and slightly thickened, then drizzle the sauce over the fish, noodles and bok choy.

Tips for Making This Recipe

Preparing cellophane noodles:

Normally, the easiest way to prepare cellophane noodles is to place them in a large bowl, cover them with boiling water and allow them to soften to the desired consistency. Time will vary by brand, so check them after 2 minutes and keep checking every minute or so until texture suits your taste. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
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