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Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill

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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.

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To serve 4

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
1/2 lime
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.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

22 comments on “Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill

  1. Francesca
    March 25, 2015

    Just stumbled across your recipe for Cha Ca La Vong which brought back memories-firstly of eating this dish at that restaurant in Hanoi, then , remembering that I must make it again. In a little lane in Hanoi, you climb up some steep wooden stairs and sit down at a rough wooden table- then, other than ordering a tea of beer, the food is served without ordering because they only serve one dish. Cha Ca= fried fish, La Vong= the name of that restaurant. It was packed. They cook it at the table in a little pan over a small bucket, glowing with coals, then add all the dill, greens,peanuts, chilli at the end- and white vermicelli noodles. What memories. Must make it again.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 25, 2015

      This is our favourite fish dish, but sadly we’ve only ever had this version. One day we’ll get to Hanoi!!

      Like

  2. Pingback: Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

  3. laurasmess
    November 26, 2013

    This looks so, so delicious! Yum. I’ve never really tried turmeric with fish but I love the idea of that gorgeous marinade, the fresh vegetables and the nuoc cham. Beautiful dish! x

    Like

  4. sue marquis bishop
    November 23, 2013

    Yes I remember mom had lots of casseroles. Many were great. Some of tuna ones clipped fr newspaper not so much. Thanks for sharing recipe and memory. Sue
    Womenlivinglifeafter50.com

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 23, 2013

      Yes we too suffered ‘orrible tuna casseroles, strangely though I still like tuna mornay. It takes a lot to put me off!

      Like

  5. Dolly Rubiano
    November 23, 2013

    This is definitely something I will order in an Asian restaurant!

    Like

  6. ChgoJohn
    November 22, 2013

    This fish sounds crazy good and the turmeric really gives it a great color. I bet your kitchen smells fantastic when you pull the fish from the pan to serve. Yum!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 22, 2013

      Thanks John, yes we loved this fish dish, It will a regular for us over summer, I think easily adapted to the barbeque.

      Like

  7. Fae's Twist & Tango
    November 22, 2013

    – I never had such a beautiful and delectable meal in Hanoi! Dill goes well with fish for sure.
    – I don’t know what you have done, but your food designing and photography have changed. Can you share/rub me your secret so I can improve. 😀

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 22, 2013

      Haha, thanks, yes it’s a super combo. I’ve never been to Hanoi, but we have a very large Vietnamese population in Melbourne and believe that we get authentic Viet food. About the photos, a couple of things have changed. Summer light, and I had an accident with my DSLR camera. While it’s being repaired, I’m using a Canon G15, a small point and shoot with a fantastic light metre and lens. It has some limitations, but overall I’m very happy with it. Thanks for the compliments!

      Like

  8. Antonio Caggiano
    November 22, 2013

    Hello there! I love Fish with Dill too..awesome recipe and presentation!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 22, 2013

      Thanks, it’s a simple dish, but a great combo of flavours!

      Like

  9. StefanGourmet
    November 21, 2013

    Very interesting. Had no clue dill is used in Vietnam. Can’t imagine dill and peanuts together, but looks like I’m going to find out 😉

    Like

  10. That other cook...
    November 21, 2013

    this looks incredibly delicious! Nuoc Cham? I have never heard of this ingredient before… you know what happens now.. I have to run around LA searching for this or I won’t be able to sleep 😉 thanks for the inspiration

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 21, 2013

      Thanks! Just four simple ingredients to make Nuoc Cham: garlic, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. It’s an important element in this dish

      Like

      • That other cook...
        November 21, 2013

        thats it? I can totally make that… almost right now, I don’t have limes but they’re easy to get. I love fish sauce, I could drink it straight out of the bottle and am not even kidding 🙂 thank you for the recipe!

        Like

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2013 by in FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, Light Savoury Dishes, Main Meals, Seafood Dishes and tagged , , , , .
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