Vietnamese fish with Turmeric and Dill
Monday, June 27, 2016 - 16:08:25
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A: Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of VOV 24/7’s“Food delight”. We are …. and …, and we are very happy to be here to share with you our recipes.
B: Hello, you guys. Hello, A. Hey, A, which food shall we introduce to our listeners today?
A: I’m thinking of a traditional dish that foreign visitors to Hanoi should sample. Can you guess?
B: Uhm, Hanoians are famous for the simple but subtle dishes. There are countless delicious dishes that we should introduce to visitors. I'm never gonna have a right answer if you don't give me a clue. Why don’t you reveal a little bit about it, for example, the staple ingredients or the cooking methods?
A: Ok. The dish consists of fish seasoned with turmeric, dill, galangal, or a bit of blue ginger. We eat it with a shrimp paste, crushed peanuts and noodle.
B: I got it. It’s definitely “Cha ca La Vong” or grilled fish.
|The dish is noted as one of 100 things you gotta try before you die by many culinary experts (Source: ameovat.com)
A: Exactly. The dish is noted as one of 100 things you gotta try before you die by many culinary experts.
B: Yup. The lightly creamy textures, the crispy grilled fish, crunchy nuts, noodle, fresh herbs, and shrimp paste combine so well in just a bowl. Having the dish with a glass of draught beer in hot weather will definitely chase the heat away.
A: Oh, B. I think you should stop daydreaming, as I invite a guest, who has lots of experience in cooking this stunning dish to the studio now.
B: She is more than welcome.
A: Let’s meet Ms Nguyen Thuy Van. She will tell us more about the dish. ““Cha ca” is a famous traditional Hanoi dish. Although the name “cha ca” implies that it’s a fish paste, but, it’s sliced fish fillets seasoned with turmeric, blue ginger, fermented rice and grilled on charcoal. The most suitable fish for making the dish is Lang fish as it doesn’t have too many bones and fishy smells. In case you don’t have Lang fish, you can even use snake-head or basa fish instead.”
|The dish consists of fish seasoned with turmeric, dill, galangal, or a bit of blue ginger
A: Traditionally, Anh Vu fish from Phu Tho province is the best choice. It was previously offered only to the King because of its high quality and good taste. Nowadays, people use a variety of fish to cook the dish, for example snake-head fish, cat-fish, basa fish, and sometimes salmon.
B: Whichever kind of fish people use, main ingredients should include turmeric, blue ginger, and shrimp sauce paste.
A: “Thi la”, or dill is a common herb that goes so well with grilled fish. The moisture from the herbs also keeps the fish from drying out.
B: Ms Thuy Van will give us more interesting tips “There are two steps in making the dish. Firstly, the fish fillet is sliced into small pieces, and seasoned with shrimp paste, turmeric, galangal, shallot, salt, and sugar. Mix well and allow the fillets to marinade for about 1 hour. Afterward, grill the fish over hot charcoals and serve it with aromatic herbs and a shrimp paste or fish sauce. The seasoning process enhances the flavors, and decides the color of the dish”.
| The lightly creamy textures, the crispy grilled fish, crunchy nuts, noodle, fresh herbs, and shrimp paste combine so well in just a bowl. Having the dish with a glass of draught beer in hot weather will definitely chase the heat away (Source: thebrickkitchen.com)
A: If you don’t have charcoal stove, you can cook the dish in other ways: Grill on a gas stove or simply pan fry.
B: Exactly. Normally the fish fillets are cooked for about 3 minutes on each side to get a nice yellow and slightly crispy brown shell. The fish is then served with onions, scallions, dill, noodle, crushed peanuts, and shrimp paste sauces. The recipe is a balance of flavors, textures and colors.
A: A stunning dish, right? Ms Thuy Van still has some other tips. Let’s listen “It’s now easier for home-cooks to find the seasoning powder as they’re available in almost all local markets or super markets. But I think we have to pay attention to ensure hygiene and food safety. It’s better when you crush the galangal and turmeric at home rather than buying the powder or extracts.”
B: Traditionally this dish is served with fermented shrimp paste sauce which is blended with lemon juice, sugar, and chili to enhance its fragrance. The shrimp paste’s flavor is much stronger than the fish sauce, but it goes well with the fish.
A: Isn’t it amazing how such basic ingredients can create such a gorgeous dish? Try this dish to truly feel the flavor of Hanoi. For now, good bye. Join us next time on VOV24/7’s Food Delight.