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. It turned out to be one of those long afternoons where the minutes seem to stretch into hours, the sun pouring into through the window in amongst days of clouds and rain, keeping the light right for just that little bit longer. Nothing went wrong (probably a first, for me), and by the time the boys were all home from various tennis and swimming training sessions and Mum and Dad got home from work, the rhubarb tart had worked perfectly (no burnt pastry here, thank you very much!), I had trialled and photographed a small batch of chả cá during the afternoon which had turned out even better than I hoped, and I seemed to have overcome the evening weariness that often appears after a full-on day in the kitchen.
Yes I think it would! Sea bream would also work very well. Let me know how you get on! 🙂
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Nuoc nam dressing:
August 9, 2015 at 8:11 pm
August 7, 2015 at 9:24 am
August 11, 2015 at 3:47 am
2 tablespoons rice bran oil or other neutral oil with a high smoke point
3-4 tablespoons white sugar
36 Hours of Street Food in Saigon
Add the spring onion, dill and peanuts and sauté for a couple of minutes until the greens wilt slightly and the peanuts are coated in the fish marinade.
4 tablespoons lime juice
In the meantime, make the nuoc nam dressing.
Dissolve the sugar into the lime juice and add the fish sauce, chilli, garlic and water. Taste to adjust the seasoning of fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
You want a nice blend of sweet, sour and salty. · Contact
To make the entire meal a little healthier, or just to round it off, you can serve it with some extra vegetables on the side – we used sauteed morning glory (also called water spinach) as it is used everywhere in Vietnam, but beans and broccoli would work just as well. I cannot wait to make this! I’m always looking for new ways to use fish and this is the kind of dish that I love.
So pretty, too!
1 small shallot , finely diced (about 4 tablespoons)
Typing up this recipe takes my mind back to two separate occasions – one dusting off cobwebs in the far reaches of my memory, and another far more distinct afternoon just a couple of weeks ago. The former sparked my love of Vietnamese food. At age 13 (so yes, not aaallll that long ago but long enough that memories have begun to fray around the edges and merge with the many photos Mum took of us all), we went on a whirlwind two week trip to Vietnam, spending time in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, the Mekong Delta and Saigon.
It was my first introduction to proper Vietnamese: the freshness, the abundance of herbs, the existence of Vietnamese mint, the nuances of sweet, sour, and salty that are so fundamental to the cuisine, the love of fish sauce, the daily markets in every town spilling over with piles of greenery and other produce, the sheer variety of dishes over the country…. Popular Herby zucchini soba salad with peanut tofu Whole Orange, Chocolate & Almond Cake A weekend in Amsterdam: where to eat and what to do Tahini Caramel & Chocolate Tart Tomato & Grilled Zucchini Panzanella Roast Plum & Miso Semifreddo A (cheap-ish) Copenhagen Food Guide Strawberry, Pomegranate and Pistachio Tart
4 teaspoons fish sauce
3/4 cup roasted peanuts , roughly chopped
Cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to package instructions and set aside.
Although traditionally served with Vietnamese shrimp paste sauce, in this rendition I have used the popular alternative of nuoc cham dipping sauce, simply because I was not convinced that my brothers (or anyone, for that matter) would handle the pungency of the former.
decent handful of mint (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup), roughly torn
1 large bunch of dill
mila furman says
Laura McDonald says
Yumm, yumm, yumm! I look forward to trying this soon – pined for later x
August 7, 2015 at 9:25 am
Plate the fish mixture on top of a bed of rice vermicelli noodles, top with mint, vietnamese mint and coriander and serve with nuoc nam dressing. August 12, 2015 at 11:12 am
Thank you! I completely agree, the flavours in Vietnamese food are always so fresh and vibrant 🙂
8-10 spring onions , chopped in 2 cm lengths with the white parts sliced in half again lengthways. The rest of the chả cá was devoured that evening.
Even the two youngest, who are can be iffy with fish, cleared their plates and asked for more. One of the best things about this dish is that it is super easy: marinate the fish ahead of time or just before you make, make the dipping sauce in five minutes, cook your noodles, sauté the fish, and you are ready to go. It doesn’t have to look perfect (my photos certainly don’t), you just throw it all together in a bowl and consume. Thao @ In Good Flavor says
Thanks Mimi, I would love to know how it turns out!
August 12, 2015 at 8:49 am
Although I cannot remember eating Chả Cá Thăng Long (also known as Chả Cá Lã Vọng and Chả Cá Hà Nội, or just Chả Cá) during our time their, it is infamous in Hanoi. Grilled white fish, crispy edged and fragrant with tumeric, fish sauce, ginger and garlic, is tossed together with handfuls of dill, spring onion and roasted peanuts and served on a bed of rice vermicelli noodles. Herbs are scattered on last: mint, vietnamese mint and coriander, along with a decent splash of nuoc cham – a Vietnamese dipping sauce that brings the dish to life with its subtle notes of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and a bit of heat from red chili.
3 cloves garlic , minced
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 heaped tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
The second occasion was in the holidays just been. One of my favourite days spent at home in the kitchen, I had started off the morning with lofty goals of what I wanted to create: first on the list was dessert. I had been battling with a rhubarb, raspberry and almond frangipane tart recipe off and on during the last 3 or 4 times I had made it and was determined that this was the day I would get it right – the pastry, the cooking time, the filling, everything.
It was a Thursday so I was also in charge of dinner – stuck for ideas but wanting something light, quick, and healthy that everyone in the family would eat (I can’t get over that my brothers still don’t appreciate the amazingness of salmon or eggplant), I opted for this Chả Cá, deciding at the last minute to photograph it as well. Trying to make and photograph two dishes at once does not always end well (very rarely, in my case!) so it was with a bit of stress that I headed to the supermarket to get all final ingredients for dinner. By this point it was only a few hours away from the light fading enough to make photographs impossible (thanks to the NZ winter and 5pm sunset!).
1 tablespoon fish sauce
This looks amazing! I am drooling over how good it looks! I think it looks perfect!
Filed Under: Mains, Recipes Tagged With: Fish, Vietnamese
Thai Fish Burgers with Green Mango & Papaya Slaw
900 g white fish , such as gurnard or tarakihi
August 7, 2015 at 1:57 am
Claudia Brick says
Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness says
Chả Cá Thăng Long (Vietnamese Turmeric Fish with Dill) - The Brick Kitchen
Chả Cá is traditionally made with snakehead fish, but now more commonly made with catfish or another firm white fish. Here I used tarakihi, a white, mild fish which is very easy to cook . It is also relatively abundant in New Zealand waters so viewed as a reasonably sustainable fish to buy, particularly compared to other popular fish such as snapper which are in danger of being overfished both in New Zealand and Australia. What a fabulous dish! i’ve never used turmeric on its own – it’s usually part of a curry powder mixture.
I’m so excited to make this!
Aw thanks Anne! Let me know what you think if/when you give it a go! X
August 11, 2015 at 10:48 am
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Mix the first measurement of oil, sugar, salt, fish sauce, shallot, turmeric, ginger and garlic together in a bowl. Chop the fish into chunks (around 3-4cm), add to the spices and toss to coat. Leave to marinade for half an hour to a couple of hours before cooking.
December 29, 2018 at 3:07 pm
May 12, 2016 at 10:58 pm
Aw thank you!! So nice to meet you too, all of your recipes look gorgeous. I just love Vietnamese since it is so fresh, healthy and packed with flavours. Would love to know how this recipe goes for you!
300 g dry rice vermicelli noodles
2 cloves of garlic , minced
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Chả Cá Thăng Long (Vietnamese Turmeric Fish with Dill)
Hi! I'm Claudia, a baker, photographer and medical student splitting life between Melbourne and Auckland read more →
August 12, 2015 at 11:24 am
Love your story about this dish and your travels, Claudia! The flavors you’ve got going on here are just stellar – that’s one of the things I love so much about Vietnamese cuisine, exciting flavors! 🙂
August 6, 2015
Never miss a post! Subscribe here to receive new recipes directly to your inbox. Umm IN LOVE!!! I have recently been playing around with Asian flavors more and more as they are absolutely terrific for vegan cooking!!! This is great! I am totally borrowing this recipe and attempting to make with seitan!!! LOVE IT!!!! SO LOVE IT! Pinned! And I am so happy you stumbled upon my site and commented because I really love your gorg photos and recipes!!! And stories!!! happy to meet you!
A few notes regarding the recipe:
Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom says
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
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August 11, 2015 at 11:28 am
August 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm
Spicy Fish Tacos with Grilled Corn Slaw & Avocado-Coriander-Lime Sauce
4-5 tablespoons water
Miss Food Fairy says
Before cooking, prep the spring onion, chop the dill roughly and roast the peanuts and chop roughly. This dish looks amazing!!! I love fish and I’ll probably be trying this recipe verrrry soon 😀
August 7, 2015 at 9:23 am
2-3 tablespoons oil for cooking (such as rice bran oil)
Thank you Lori! I feel like with fish we do often get stuck in a rut of using it only one or two ways, so such a good idea to try new things with it! Would love to hear how it goes if/when you make it 🙂
Chả Cá: grilled white fish, fragrant with tumeric, fish sauce, ginger and garlic, is tossed together with dill, spring onion and roasted peanuts.
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1-2 red chillis , finely chopped (depending on how hot they are and your heat tolerance!)
Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi
August 19, 2015 at 12:01 pm
Your photos are just gorgeous!! I can almost taste it!
Heat the oil in a large pan on high. Add the fish along with any remaining marinade to the pan (you might have to cook these in 2 lots if there is not enough surface area for all of the fish to ensure the pan stays hot enough) and panfry until golden brown and cooked through (roughly 2-3 minutes on each side). The key here is getting the pan hot enough so you get lots of crispy brown bits!.