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Cha Ca La Vong - Vietnamese Style Fish with Turmeric and Dill

Cha Ca La Vong - Vietnamese Style Fish with Turmeric and Dill

This iconic fish recipe from Hanoi, Vietnam is loaded with flavor thanks to a turmeric marinade and heaps of fresh dill.  

Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

For the fish and herbs-

  • 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 large shallot roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp canola or vegetable oil divided
  • 3 large filets tilapia
  • 6-8 large green onions chopped into 2-3 inch long pieces
  • 3 oz dill fronds
  • 1 cup asian greens bok choy, pak choy, mustard greens, etc.
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

For the dipping sauce and garnishes-

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 small birds eye chile thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup crushed roasted peanuts unsalted
  • ¼ cup fresh mint and cilantro torn
  • 8 oz thin rice noodles

Instructions

  1. Start by preparing the marinade for the fish. Chop the garlic, ginger, and shallots and add to a medium mixing bowl with the turmeric, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Stir to combine. 

  2. Cut the fish filets into 1 inch chunks and coat with the marinade. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least a half an hour and up to 2 hours.

  3. Cut the green onions and dill fronds into 2-3 inch pieces. Rinse the leaves of your greens and set aside with the dill and green onions.

  4. For the dipping sauce, combine fish sauce, lime juice, water, and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Slice your chile and add a few slices to the dipping sauce if desired.

  5. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions - rinse and set aside. 

  6. Once the fish is done marinating heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Add the fish along with the contents of the marinade to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes

  7. After 3-4 minutes, push the fish pieces to one side of the pan allowing them to continue to cook. Add the greens, green onion, and dill to the other side stirring while they cook down. Season both greens and fish with kosher salt and saute both for an additional 4-5 minutes. 

  8. To serve, add a handful of the rice noodles to a bowl and top with the fish, dill, and greens. Add a few spoonfuls of dipping sauce over the noodles and fish to taste. Garnish with crushed peanuts, fresh mint, fresh cilantro, and chiles.