Recipe Series: Thiéboudienne | Traditional African Cooking

Recipe Series: Thieboudienne | Traditional African Cooking

One fun thing about this job is that I can incorporate everything I love most into my blog - and since I love writing, it comes naturally to me anyways! You all know that I went to West Africa back in January, and one thing I loved about being there was tasting all kinds of different foods. Their cuisine is based around a lot of fish and chicken, so when we ate local that's what we had.

A dish that is extremely popular there is called Thiéboudienne. We were fortunate enough to have this authentically prepared for us by a local, and it was absolutely delicious! I promised myself I'd make it right when I got home but when I looked up the recipe I realized it would take 2+ hours! So I set aside an afternoon where I could do it justice.

West African Thiéboudienne

The results? Absolutely delicious. It may not be perfectly authentic, as I did add some modifications to the recipe, but it tasted similar and I loved it. So without further ado, here is my take on the African dish Thiéboudienne (modified from Saveur). If you try it, let me know what you think

Thiéboudienne (Fish and Rice)

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, minced
1/4 small yellow onion, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 (4–oz.) filets (grouper, red snapper, or a similar mild white fish)

1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 (12–oz.) can tomato paste
6 cups fish or vegetable stock
6 small carrots, halved crosswise
1/2 cassava root, peeled and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 cups basmati or other long-grained rice
Lime wedges, to serve


Make the fish and stuffing: Mix together parsley, chile flakes, garlic, scallion, onion, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Using a paring knife, cut a 2″ slit lengthwise in each fish filet; stuff filets with the herb mixture, and set aside.

West African Thiéboudienne
West African Thiéboudienne

Make the thiéboudienne: Heat oil in an 8–qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and green pepper, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft and paste is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add stock, and bring to a boil.

West African Thiéboudienne

Reduce heat to medium-low, and add filets; cook until fish is just cooked through, about 18 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove filets and transfer to a plate, then cover to keep warm.

West African Thiéboudienne

Add carrots and cassava, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 40 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a bowl; keep warm. Add fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add rice, and stir to combine; reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and fluff rice with a fork.

To serve, divide fish, vegetables, and rice among serving plates; serve with lime wedges (for squeezing over fish).

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West African Thiéboudienne

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.