One of my husband's favorite Vietnamese dishes is Cha Ca Thang Long. I had 2.5 pounds of tilapia in the fridge and was bored with the thought of making another blackened tilapia dish with mango salsa. No recipes online piqued my interest...until my ADD kicked in and had me wandering off in my thoughts and suddenly remembering that my mom's birthday is coming up. Mom's birthday....mom is from Ha Noi / Hai Phong (north Viet Nam)...Ha Noi.... Ha Noi style fish!!! Yes, welcome to my mind. It's no where near as fun as inception but at least it's still somewhat entertaining.
Wow - off on a tangent again. Back to the point of this post...
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp minced ginger
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tsp of fermented shrimp paste (mam ruoc)
2 tsp of sugar
1 tsp ground white pepper
4 tbsp of olive oil
2.5 pounds of tilapia
1 sweet yellow onion, sliced
1 bunch of scallions, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch dill, coarsely chopped
1 package of vermicelli
1. Combine all marinade ingredients into a mixing bowl and thoroughly mix.
3. Marinate the tilapia for at least 1 hour. Cook the vermicelli noodles according to package directions.
4. Heat a cast iron skillet and drizzle some olive oil. Sweat the onion and scallions. Set aside.
5. Now with soybean oil (or vegetable oil), drizzle over the cast iron skillet. Cook the fish.
1. Place vermicelli onto a plate or bowl.
2. Top with the fish.
3. Top the fish with the onion mixture.
4. Garnish with crushed peanuts, chopped dill, and fried shallots.
5. Spoon the dipping sauce over the plate to your desire and enjoy!
This is a deconstructed plated version of what the dish is suppose to look like. I ran out of peanuts when I took this photo, but you get the idea!
Note: This dish is typically eaten with mam tom (Vietnamese shrimp sauce) but that stuff is acquired taste because it is pungent! Nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce) is not as pungent and is still just as good of a substitute.