Chả Cá

Chả Cá La Vong is an old and famous restaurant in Hanoi. I mentioned it in my post of 21 November 2014. They only do one dish, and do it very well. This is my interpretation of it. Vermicelli rice noodles are more traditional than the flat noodles I used for the photograph, but use whatever you have.

Marinade Ingredients

1tbs vegetable oil

1tbs fish sauce

2tbs turmeric powder

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

Juice of 1 lime

1-2 red Thai chillies, sliced

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs sugar

Other ingredients

Vermicelli rice noodles

1-2 skinless boneless white fish fillets (no need to use premium fish such as sea bass and monkfish)

Around 4 spring onions, trimmed, halved crosswise and quartered lengthwise

1 bunch of dill, trimmed of hard stems and halved crosswise

Handful of crushed peanuts

A few sprigs of coriander and a few basil leaves (optional)


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  1. Cut the fish fillets into bite-sized portions and toss with the marinade until well coated. Season lightly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  1. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  1. Once the fish has marinated, cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.
  1. Meanwhile, heat a glug of vegetable oil in a frying pan and cook the fish until golden brown on each side. Turn it over from time to time to make sure it doesn’t burn, but don’t chase it round the pan or it will fall to pieces and look a mess.
  1. When the fish is almost done, add the spring onions and herbs and allow to wilt in the pan.
  1. Put the cooked noodles in a serving bowl. Top with the fish, spring onions and herbs. Either serve the dipping sauce and peanuts on the side or pour over the top.


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