from one generation to the next
Some of my favourite recipes have evolved from newspaper clippings. Melbourne’s newspapers’ weekend magazines publish recipes contributed by some of Australia’s best chefs, and while they are a constant source of inspiration, the reality is that few excite me enough to try them. This recipe jumped off the page at me! It was simple and quick to prepare and we loved the result. It is absolutely delicious!! Unfortunately, after I tore the page out and sent the magazine to the recycle bin, I was left with no source to quote. Suffice to say it was the “Sunday Age” about 6 weeks ago.
Fish is my culinary creative stumbling block. I make fish curry, I bake fish with potatoes and I cook fish en papillote, or simply pan fry it, but that’s about it, so when I found this simple fish recipe of Vietnamese origin, I just had to give it a go.
Cha ca la vong, originates from a single restaurant with a huge reputation in Hanoi. Essentially it’s white, firm fleshed fish marinated with turmeric, pan fried, tossed with fresh dill and served with peanuts and nuoc cham, the Vietnamese sauce that makes everything taste good.
Steamed rice and bok choy accompanied our Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill. It was a fabulous meal and a recipe I will make again and again.
800 g rockling or other firm white fleshed fish
Marinade: 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cm fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar, grated or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chillis
1 tablespoon vegetable oil for marinade
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking
2 tablespoons water
Large bunch dill, roughly chopped
3 spring onions, sliced
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed
Nuoc Cham :
I clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon palm sugar, grated or brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
Mix together all the marinade ingredients. Cut the fish into 5cm slices across the fillets then coat the fish in the marinade. Allow to rest for 15 minutes in the fridge.
Make the Nuoc Cham by combining all the ingredients. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the fish and gently sauté for a few minutes. Flip the fish and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the water to the pan, shake to loosen the fish from the bottom, then add the herbs and gently toss. Transfer the fish to a serving plate, squeeze over the lime juice and scatter with peanuts.
Serve with the sauce and extra peanuts on the side.