Cha Ca Thanh Long is one of our favorite Vietnamese dishes and we’ve already wrote about it here, but this time we’re back with similar recipe but a slight twist.
Traditionally this dish is made in small portions with cut filet of snakehead or catfish cooked table side or on a sizzling fajita style pan, but we’ve adapted it for larger groups and it’s one of our favorite go-to dishes for a dinner party. Instead of small portioned filet of fish, we use an entire filet of salmon and serve it community style on a big platter. It’s great for a dinner party because all the sauces and accompaniments can be made ahead of time.
We’ll leave out all the accompaniments on the table and allow guests to pick and choose how they want to enjoy this dish–either roll it or bowl it. Roll it up into spring rolls or put it in a noodle bowl, either way, both are delicious and fun and interactive party for all.
During the summer month’s it’s our favorite way to enjoy wild salmon, particularly if you can get your hands on wild Copper River salmon, it’s absolutely delicious.
Hanoi Style Salmon with Dill and Turmeric
Adapted from the classic Cha Ca Thang Long from Hanoi, this recipe uses salmon and is great for feeding a larger group of people.
1 large or 2 small fillets skinned wild salmon (about 3-4 lbs. total)
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. each extra-virgin olive oil and sugar
2 tsp. turmeric
1⁄2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. white pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large red onion, sliced into 1⁄4-in. wedges
1 each medium green bell pepper and yellow bell pepper, sliced into 1⁄4-in. strips
2 loosely packed cups fresh dill sprigs, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. roasted salted peanuts, crushed
Pineapple Shrimp Sauce
2 tbs fine shrimp paste (mam rouc)
6 tbs warm water
6 tbs sugar
6 tbs lime juice
6 tbs finely minced pineapple (fresh or canned)
2 tbs minced garlic
1 thai chile minced
20 oz. cooked vermicelli rice noodles*
1 bunch each Thai basil or Italian basil, mint, perilla (shiso) or cilantro
Rice paper wrappers
Pineapple Shrimp Sauce:
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and warm water. Stir in shrimp paste, garlic, lime juice, minced pineapple and thai chile. This can be prepared 2 days in advanced.
Salmon with Turmeric and Dill:
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Oil a large rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment paper, then oil paper
lightly. Lay salmon, skinned side down, on sheet. Whisk together remaining salmon ingredients.Slather
onto salmon and marinate at least 20 minutes (chilled, up to 1½ hours). Roast until just firm, 12 to 20
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook,
stirring, until just softened, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ¾ of dill.
3. Put noodles in a bowl. Arrange herbs on a platter. Set noodles, herbs, sauces, and rice papers on the
table, leaving room for 2 or 3 wide, shallow bowls of hot water for dipping rice papers.
4. Carefully loosen salmon from parchment with a thin spatula. Lift parchment with salmon, wide end
closest to you, and tilt salmon onto a large platter (it will slide off easily). Arrange vegetables alongside
salmon. Sprinkle salmon with remaining dill sprigs and crushed peanuts. Set on the table, along with
bowls of hot water for dipping rice papers.
5. To make spring rolls, quickly dip a rice paper in hot water to barely soften, then layer with small amounts of vegetables, herbs, and noodles, and salmon. Roll up in wrapper. Dip rolls into sauces. Or build your own noodle bowl with same ingredients, drizzle with sauces, and top with crackers if you like.
By the way, if this recipe and photos look familiar, it’s because it was featured in May 2016 issue of Sunset Magazine! We’re honored and humbled to have our recipes featured!