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Naga Recipe | Local Pond Fish Cooked with Fresh Bamboo Shoot Pieces

If you like fish, but have never tasted one that has been cooked in Naga spices, then you are missing out big time. What we like about Naga fish dishes is that they are easy and quick to make, uses minimal spices /ingredients – hence retains the freshness of the fish. Also, cooking with bamboo shoot gives it that typical Naga flavor, while also removing that fishy smell – if there is any.

Today, we have a simple fish recipe made with easy to find ingredients and a taste that will not disappoint. Recipe has been contributed by Lilia Jimomi from Nagaland. Full recipe below:

Naga Fish Dish with Bamboo Shoot

Naga Fish Dish with Bamboo Shoot

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes 
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes. 
  • Serves: 6 


  • 6 Nos. of  fresh pond fish (We’ve used local pond fish, but you can use other fish varieties as well)
  • 1-2 King chilly (optional )
  • 10 local red chilies (boiled and mashed into a paste)  
  • 2 large tomatoes 
  • 3 tablespoons of mustard oil 
  • ~200 gms of fresh bamboo shoots – cooked, and in big pieces
  • Some sliced ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic and fresh red chilies for garnish

Fresh local fish caught from the local pond in Nagaland

Fresh Local Pond Fish.

Fresh Bamboo Shoot Pieces – Sliced and Cooked


Fresh Bamboo Shoot Pieces – Sliced and Cooked

Directions to Cook:

  • Clean the fish, removing the gut and the scales. Wash with water thoroughly. Then make 2-3 deep slashes across the body to make sure the spices go deep inside while cooking
  • Coat the fishes lightly with salt both inside and out
  • Now line the fish carefully inside a medium sized pan 
  • Now add all the ingredients (except fresh bamboo shoot) to the fish, and add one cup of cold water and cook it on high heat for a few minutes (Do not stir)
  • When it comes to a boil, lower the flame to medium. Keep adding water little by little. (Make sure you use cold water. This will prevent the fish from sticking to each other and the pan)
  • Once it’s cooked, take the fish out of the pot and keep it aside

Making the Bamboo Shoot Mix

  • Now add the fresh bamboo shoot pieces into the same pot and mix them thoroughly into the remaining sauce/paste left after cooking the fish. You may add a little water if needed, and mix them well.

Cooked bamboo shoot mixed with a paste of chilies, tomatoes, ginger and mustard oil.


Plating the Dish:

  • Put the bamboo shoot sauce mix into a serving dish and now add the fish pieces carefully on top of this mix
  • Garnish with sliced red chilly and chopped garlic.

Our delicious fish dish is ready to be served with rice, some vegetables on the side and a chutney. Bon Appétit!

Naga Fish Dish with Bamboo Shoot

Lilia Jimomi
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