This delicious dish hails from Thang Long, an area adjacent to Hanoi, and is one my favorite Northern Vietnamese dishes. Although grilling the fish or using a flat griddle would be optimal for this dish, you can still use your frying pan like I did. It’s not a dish for those who don’t like fish because it uses shrimp paste & fish sauce, both very pungent flavors to those unfamiliar. “Cha Ca” refers to grilled fish & “Thang Long” is the town where the dish came from. It’s adjacent to Hanoi & is a Northern Vietnamese specialty. Cool fun fat: “long” means dragon in Vietnamese!
Note: Please ignore my usage of the chunkier rice vermicelli. You should use the thinner ones, but I didn’t particularly feel up to going to the local Chinese supermarket to grab some. Realistically, at the end of the day, use noodles you enjoy whether it’s traditional or not.Print
- 1.5 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
- 1.5 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
- 1 Tbsp safflower or vegetable oil
- 4 white fish fillets, skinned, deboned, brought to room temperature
- 2 large yellow onions, sliced
- 4 filets white fish, roughly chopped in large chunks
- 2 cups dill, loosely packed
- 8 sprigs scallions, roughly chopped into 1” pieces
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 bunch red lettuce or romaine
- Banh Da (Vietnamese sesame chips; optional)
Dipping Fish Sauce
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tsp sambal
- 1.5 tsp shrimp paste
- 1/2 package rice vermicelli
- 1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Soak the fish in the marinade, evenly distributing throughout filets. Set aside & cover for about 20 minutes.
- 2. In a medium soup pot filled with water, bring it to a boil. Add rice vermicelli & cook for about 7-8 minutes or however according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, & set aside.
- 3. In a small sauce pan, combine dipping sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil & turn off stove. Set aside to cool.
- 4. Spray a frying pan or flat griddle with cooking oil & turn the stove on medium-high. When heated, add sliced onions & sauté until browned. Move the onions to the side & add the chopped fish to pan. Sprinkle a few sprigs of dill & flip after cooking on each side for 3-5 minutes. Add scallions & roasted peanuts, mixing together all ingredients & plate.
- 5. Fill a bowl with noodles & top with fish & fresh herbs. Spoon on some sauce & enjoy!
- Make sure your rice vermicelli says “bun tuoi” on it. Don’t get the ones that look like they’re white hairs on an old broom. You want ones that are really chewy, not the kind that you’d use in a salad. If it has a picture of egg rolls next to the noodles on the package, you’re in good shape! If your package has “bun cha” on it, then you’re also in good shape!
- Also, use a thick slab of sustainable white fish! Catfish is commonly used, but you can use any. I would not recommend using Sole because it’s way too flimsy.
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 588
- Sugar: 14
- Sodium: 1494
- Fat: 25
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 18
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 35
- Protein: 59
- Cholesterol: 158