Cha ca la vong (Vietnamese dish with turmeric fish, herbs, rice noodles)

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Cha ca la vong (Vietnamese dish with turmeric fish and herbs), mango and chili salad, vermicelli, sesame wok-fried green beans, roasted salted peanuts, and scallions

There are four different components we’ll be making below. First, we’ll make the marinade for the fish. Next, we’ll make the mango chili salad, the vermicelli, and then we’ll finish with the green beans.

Ingredients (marinade):

  • 1 T turmeric
  • 1/2 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 T onion powder
  • 1/2 T black pepper powder
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T dried shrimp flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 spring onions (whole onion, sliced thinly)
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 3 flounder or cod (firm white fish) fillets

The How To:

Mix all of the ingredients but the fish together with a whisk in a large bowl. Cut the fish into 1″ by 2″ slices and add to the thick yellow pastey mixture. Let sit refrigerated at least 2 hours or overnight. In a wok, add 1/2 T vegetable oil and let it get to medium high heat. Quickly fry the fish in the hot oil until the sides are golden brown. Set on a plate with a paper towel to drain the excess oil. When all fish pieces are finished frying, add your remaining marinade to the wok and stir, making a sauce. Add all fish back to the sauce, warm, and serve over vermicelli.

Ingredients (mango and chili salad)

  • 5 T fresh lime juice, zest from 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/2 T brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 T fish sauce
  • 1 T dried shrimp flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 green beans
  • 1 large mango, julienned
  • 8 small cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 spring onions (whole onion, sliced thinly)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 fresh red Thai chili with seeds, thinly sliced
  • 1 package vermicelli

The How To: Read the instructions on your vermicelli package. Most of the time, you’ll put it in a bowl and cover it with almost-boiling water. Add your green beans to the top of the vermicelli/water bowl, and let cook for five minutes. Remove the green beans, dry, and cut into 3″ sections. When cooked, drain the vermicelli, and set aside. Add the first five ingredients (lime juice and zest, brown sugar, fish sauce, shrimp flakes, and garlic), to a small bowl and mix. This is your dressing. Add the remaining ingredients (not the vermicelli, that’s still drained and set aside), to a larger bowl, and mix in your dressing. Let the salad incorporate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Ingredients (beans):

  • 1 package green beans (fresh)
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The How To: Add your sesame oil to a wok, and heat until fairly hot, about a 7/10 on my stove. Then add your green beans and sauté for 4-5 minutes, so they still have a bit of a crunch but also have little bits of brown on the outside.

To Plate: To plate this dish, add your vermicelli to a bowl on one side, and your green beans on the other. Then spoon you turmeric fish mixture over both, adding your mango chili salad on top. Garnish with spring onions and roasted salted peanuts.

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