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Tiebou Dienne
Herb-Stuffed Fish Steaks with Seasoned Rice

Tiebou Dienne is the national dish of Senegal. For authentic cuisine enjoyment,  serve this dish with pickles on the side.


6 fish fillets (about 8 ounces each see Note below), cut 1 inch thick 
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley 
1 large onion, chopped 
4 garlic cloves, crushed through a garlic press 
2 fresh hot chili peppers, such as jalapeno, seeded and minced 
4 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1/4 teaspoons salt 
6 cups Fish Stock, or 4 cups water and 2 cups bottled clam juice 
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1 small head cauliflower (about 1.5 pounds), cut into florets 
1 small head cabbage (about 1 pound), cut into wedges and cored 
1 pound yucca (cassava), pared and cut into 1-inch chunks, or 2 medium potatoes, peeled 
4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths 
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces 
1/4 pound okra, stems and tips trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds 
2 cups long-grain rice 
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish 
lime wedges, for garnish 

Note: You can use roundfish such as grouper, monkfish, swordfish, or tuna for this recipe. Use 1 inch thick slices.  Or use 3 pounds of 1-inch- thick cross-cut fish steaks, such as cod, mako shark, or bluefish. 


Using a sharp knife, cut deep horizontal pockets into one side of each fish fillet. Make sure that you do not cut through to the other side. 

In a blender or food processor, puree the parsley, 1/4 cup of the onion, half of the garlic, half of the chili pepper, 1tablespoon of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. 

Divide the parsley puree among the fish fillets, stuffing it into the pockets. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels. 

Preheat the oven to 200 degree F. 

In a 6 to 8-quart Dutch oven, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add the fish fillets and cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until partially cooked and lightly browned. (about 3 minutes). Using a spatula, transfer the fish to a plate, and set aside. 

Add the remaining onion to the Dutch oven, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned (about 5 minutes). 

Add the remaining garlic and chili pepper, and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the fish stock, tomato paste, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower, cabbage, yucca, carrots, and turnip. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the eggplant and okra, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Return the fish to the Dutch oven, cover, and cook until it is opaque throughout and the vegetables are tender. (about 10 minutes.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish, vegetables, and about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to a large baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and keep it warm in the oven while cooking the rice. 

Stir the rice into the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. (about 20 minutes). 

Spread the rice in a thick layer on a large warmed platter, and arrange the fish on top. Spoon the vegetables around the fish, and drizzle with any collected juices in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve with the lime wedges.

Yield: 6 servings

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