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Mild Fish Yassa

Mild Fish Yassa is the white girl version of this classic Senegalese dish.

Mild Fish Yassa recipe from

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, then you know I can’t exactly handle the heat in many recipes. I am a white girl through and through, and unfortunately for them, my kids follow in my footsteps.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no qualms with being a basic b****! It would be more fun for my tastebuds, though, if they could handle things a bit more spicy than they do.

I’m trying to get Henry’s tastebuds acclimated to spicy, but it is not going so well. David can handle quite a bit of heat, but he’s the only one in the house. So when I want to make a dish from a different culture that is typically spicy, I omit much of the spice.

Mild Fish Yassa recipe from

Fish Yassa is part of our Family Dinner Book Club menu to accompany the children’s book One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul. This menu is based off the Senegal region, which surrounds The Gambia, which is where this book takes place.

If you like heat, you can add a habanero to the recipe below. If you’re like our family, you can leave it as is, the much more mild version of Fish Yassa. Serve with rice, sauteed spinach, and a sunshiny mango smoothie.

Mild Fish Yassa recipe from
Yield: serves 4

Mild Fish Yassa

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes

The much more mild version of the classic Senegalese Fish Yassa


  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (safflower, peanut, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds white fish filets
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • parsley, for garnish


  1. In a baking dish, whisk together the oil, dijon mustard, paprika, and salt.
  2. Add the thinly sliced onion and the minced garlic. Stir to combine well.
  3. Coat the fish in the marinade and top with the lemon and bay leaf. Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove the fish from the marinade and set aside on a plate. Pour the marinade along with the onions, garlic, lemons, and bay leaf into a large skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the fish, and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the fish until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve the fish yassa over rice with the extra sauce and onions. Garnish with parsley if desired.

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