Vietnamese turmeric & dill fish 'Cha Ca'

Vietnamese turmeric & dill fish 'Cha Ca'

Prep / Cook / Total    -    15 / 15 / 30min



  • 180g (6.3 oz) dried rice vermicelli 
  • 800g (1.7 lb) white fish fillets, sliced into 4cm wide strips 
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice 
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced 
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), cut into batons 
  • 3 sprigs of dill, cut into large pieces (but remove any large stems)



  • 1/3 cup sliced spring onion (scallions)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill


Nouc Cham dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice



Soak the vermicelli noodles in just boiled water for 2 minutes or until tender.  Drain and divide among serving bowls.


For the marinade, use a mortar and pestle to pound the spring onion and garlic into a rough paste.  Stir through the remaining ingredients.  Pour the marinade into a large bowl. Add the fish and toss to coat.


Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the fish, spreading the pieces out in the pan. Allow cooking on the first side until golden (about 2-3 minutes). Then gently turn the fish over, sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of water.  Cover with a lid and cook for  2-3 minutes or until fish is just cooked.  Scatter over most of the spring onion and dill (leave some for serving). Pour over the lime juice and remove from heat.


Top noodles with fish and pan juices. Drizzle with Nuoc Cham and add more dill or spring onion as needed.


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