The Washington Post

Hanoi-Style Fried Fish With Turmeric and Dill (Cha Ca Thang Long)

Hanoi-Style Fried Fish With Turmeric and Dill (Cha Ca Thang Long) 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Jun 25, 2014

Author Paul Greenberg says this light, summery meal is perfect for sharing.

Serve the fried fish atop the dilled vermicelli or wrapped in lettuce leaves, along with pickled carrots and a dipping sauce called nuoc cham (see related recipes).

Make Ahead: Once salted, the fish needs to sit for 15 minutes. The marinated fish needs to be refrigerated for 20 minutes.


Servings:
4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • For the fish
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm, skinned white-fleshed fish fillets, such as monkfish, red snapper or striped bass
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 3 to 4 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • For serving
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (optional)
  • 1/3 cup nuoc cham (see related recipe)
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • Pickled carrots (see related recipe)
  • 12 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 small bunch mint leaves
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Related Recipes

Directions

For the fish: Cut the fish fillets into 2-inch chunks. Sprinkle the pieces all over with the salt; let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the fish sauce, ginger, scallions, sugar and pepper in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Rub the mixture over the fish pieces so they are thoroughly coated, then place them on a plate. Sprinkle them with the turmeric, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels, then seat an oven-safe wire rack on top; place on the middle oven rack and preheat to 200 degrees.

Place the rice flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly coat each piece of marinated fish in the flour, shaking off any excess.

Pour enough oil into a wok to create a depth of at least an inch (1 to 2 cups; the oil will be shallower if you use a large skillet instead). Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is almost smoking.

Working in batches as needed (do not overcrowd the pan), add the fish and cook for 4 to 8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the pieces), using tongs to move and turn the fish as needed so that it becomes evenly cooked and golden brown. Use tongs to transfer the cooked fish to the wire rack in the oven.

Boil a kettle of water. Place the vermicelli in a heatproof bowl. Pour the just-boiled water over the noodles; let them sit according to the package directions. Drain, then toss with the chopped dill.

When ready to serve, arrange the dilled vermicelli on a platter along with the pieces of warm fried fish; soy sauce, if using, and/or nuoc cham for dipping; lime wedges; pickled carrots; lettuce; mint; and cilantro. Garnish with the peanuts.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine and Culture in Southern California's Little Saigon," by Ann Le (Globe Pequot, 2011).

Tested by Helen Horton.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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