CHA CA LONG {VIETNAMESE DILL FISH WITH TURMERIC}

This is one of my favorite fish dishes because it’s so versatile. You can eat it in a bowl or roll it up like a spring roll. Anyway you decide to eat it, it’s pretty delicious!

I decided to use catfish tonight for this dish. Make sure you marinate the fish for about thirty minutes.

The red onions, scallions, and dill will be this dish’s aromatics.

Cook the fish first on a very hot cast iron skillet. I cooked this for about 3 minutes on each side.

After the fish has a nice sear on both sides, I then added the red onions and scallions and cooked it for a couple more minutes before adding the dill and then cooking for another minute before turning off the heat.

To serve this dish, I layered my lettuce, mint, cilantro, and cucumbers in a bowl. I then added cooked vermicelli noodles to this and then topped it off with my cooked fish along with some pickled carrots and daikon. And of course, I’ll drench it with the nuoc mam cham.

Cha Ca Long {Vietnamese Dill Fish with Turmeric}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:

Fish Marinade:
1 pound catfish filet, cod, or halibut, cut into 2-inch chunks
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 clove garlic, minced
½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil

½ bunch fresh dill, chopped
¼ each red onion, julienned
2 stalks scallions, cut into 2-inch sections

Garnishes:
½ bunch cilantro
½ bunch mint
½ head red or green leaf lettuce
1 each Persian cucumber, cut into strips

Nuoc Mam Cham:
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
10 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ each Thai red chili, minced

Pickled Carrots and Daikon:
½ cup water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 each carrot, julienned
½ each daikon, julienned

Directions:
1. Mix the fish with the turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, sugar, kosher salt, and canola oil. Let this marinade for thirty minutes.
2. Make the nuoc mam cham by mixing the nuoc mam cham ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Prep the garnishes and set aside.
4. Over high heat, in a hot cast iron pan, add one tablespoon canola oil. Once the pan is hot, sear the fish on both sides on each side for about three minutes or until it is golden and light brown. Add the red onions and green onions and saute for about a minute or two. Add the dill. Turn off the heat. Make sure the fish is fully cooked. It should be white and opaque in color. If it is translucent, continue cooking it on the cast iron pan.
5. Serve by putting the fish on top of a bowl of vermicellii with the garnishes and pour some nuoc mam cham over it.

* For the pickled carrots and daikon, just mix the ingredients together and let it sit overnight before serving it.