Recipe: Cha Ca Thang Long

Ingredients + Condiments

  •  1 pound fish filet (red snapper is a good choice)
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves (or subsitute with garlic powder)
  • dash of salt, white pepper and sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1/2 medium white or red onion
  • 6 ounces of thin white vermicelli rice nooodle
  • 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • unsalted roasted peanuts
  • Vietnamese crackers (banh trang nuong)–optional
  • 1/2 bunch of dill–optional
  • dipping sauce (nuoc cham)–see instructions separately below
  • 2 serving plates

At the end of this blog I am posting some photos as shopping and visual aids.


  • Mix garlic, salt, black pepper, sugar, and olive oil well. Mix in the tumeric powder.
  • Slice fish filet into bite size pieces. Blend the mixture above into the fish thoroughly and let it all marinate for an hour in the fridge.
  • While waiting, boil the rice vermicelli per instructions on package (see video below). It should taste more well done than al dente but not too soft. Be sure to drain it well in cold running water before plating it. Then set it aside.
  • Clean and dry the green onion, mint, cilantro, and dill and only keep the leaves and young stalks. Cut them into 2-inch long pieces.  Cover each serving plate with just cilantro and mint. Set the onion and dill aside for now.
  • Slice the 1/2 white or red onion thinly and soak it in a small bowl with the red wine vigar mixture for 15 minutes before draining the onions.  Set the onions aside.
  • Grill the fish for 5-7 minutes. Place the cooked fish on top of the mint/cilantro on the serving plate.
  • Add a bit of olive oil in a frying pan and quickly stir fry the green onions (and dill if you wish) then drizzle it over the fish.
  • Serve the fish with vermicelli, dry roasted peanuts, vinegar onions, Vietnamese rice cracker, and nuoc cham*.  This recipe serves 2.

*Nuoc cham can be substituted with the more authentic and hardcore mam tom, a particularly foul smelling shrimp paste based dipping sauce. A good VN restaurant will offer either or both sauces on your request, but try the mam tom at your own risk…don’t say I didn’t warn you!



This is how to serve cha ca:



This is a reminder of how to make nuoc cham:




1 Comment

  1. beatrice

    cha ca c’est la huitième merveille du monde et le vn un paradis culinaire… j’ai ujne fois de plus l’eau quji me vient à la bouche!!! j’ai fait l’autre jour tes rouleuax de printemps fabuleux et j’adore ta sauce: gouteuse ,légère,facile à préparer..miam miam et encore miam

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