Inspired by the industrial Vietnamese town of Vinh where eel is a staple ingredient, Luke Nguyen prepares this simple yet flavour-packed grilled eel with lemongrass. Serve as a hot snack with a cold beer and a good sprig of Vietnamese mint or with steamed rice as a light meal.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (80 votes)


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) eel fillets, boned, with skin on, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces (or ask your fish monger to do this for you)
  • 1 small handful coriander (cilantro)


  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 lemongrass stems (white part only), finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 birdseye chilli, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 20 minutes

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the eel, stirring well to coat.

Add oil, cover, then set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes. Drain the eel well, reserving the marinade.

Heat a barbecue chargrill plate to medium and cook the eel for 3-4 minutes on each side, brushing with the reserved marinate as it cooks. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with coriander.

Serve with jasmine rice.