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Cha Ca Thang Long (Cha Ca La Vong)

This is a famous Hanoi dish of firm white fish marinated in turmeric cooked table side with dill.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: cha ca, fish,, seafood
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 203kcal
Author: Hong and Kim


Cha Ca

  • 1 lb white fish filet firm meaty fish such as catfish, cod, rockfish, halibut cut in 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 ts turmeric powder
  • 1/4 ts galangal powder if not available at your Asian market, substitute ginger powder
  • 1 tbs garlic minced
  • 1 tbs shallots minced
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 ts sugar
  • 1/2 ts fish sauce
  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks green onions cut into 1 inch segments
  • 1 cup dill thick stems removed and coarsely chopped


  • 1 tbs peanuts roasted coarsely crushed
  • 1 package vermicelli noodles boiled and drained according to directions
  • Fresh herbs mint, perilla (tia to), lettuce, Vietnamese balm (kinh gioi)

Mam nem sauce

  • 1 ts fine shrimp paste
  • 2 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbs of sugar
  • 2 tbs of water
  • 1 ts garlic minced
  • 1 ts chile chopped or sambal


  • Combine oil, turmeric, galangal, garlic, shallots, salt, sugar, and fish sauce in large bowl and mix well. Marinade the fish nuggets in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes.
  • Make the mam nem sauce and boil the vermicelli noodles and set aside.
  • Add about 3-4 tbs of cooking oil deep cast iron skillet. Get the oil nice and hot to about 350 degrees. Rinse off excess marinade and pan fry the fish, flipping to make sure they are browned both sides. When they are just just about done, add the onions and the dill and scallions and gently pan mix without breaking fish. Cook until herbs and onions have softened about another minute. Remove from heat and garnish with peanuts and serve immediately with vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and mam nem sauce.


The trick with this dish is to cook the fish nuggets without breaking them. Don't use too flaky delicate fish.  You can drain out excess oil before adding the herbs.


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 637mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1201IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
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