I didn’t grow up eating chả cá thăng long. Truth be told, my family genuinely dislikes the dish. There’s something about the unfamiliar and assertive flavor of fresh dill that makes everyone from my mother to my aunts và uncles utter the words: ngần ngừ ăn, which literally means, “I don’t know how khổng lồ eat,” but in actuality is a polite turn of phrase for rejecting an offering.

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It wasn’t until I visited Hanoi while living as an expat in Vietnam nearly a decade ago that this dish came into lớn my life. A northern Vietnamese specialty comprised of turmeric-marinated fish fillets served in a sizzling skillet table-side along with heaps of dill và scallions, chả cá thăng long is somehow both familiar & novel, & in spite of what my family believes, totally ngon (delicious).

This weekend’s heat wave sầu inspired me khổng lồ get into the kitchen khổng lồ make something light and bright—this dish fit the bill. I started with two pounds of halibut marinated in fish sauce, ground turmeric, garlic, ginger, shallots, black pepper, & a bit of dill. After carefully pan-frying the fillets, I combined them with bunches of scallions and dill that had been wilted in vegetable oil.

The fish và herbs were served over vermicelli rice noodles with crushed peanuts, herbs, and plenty of nước chấm. It was the perfect antidote to 104-degree temps.

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For fish marinade

6 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce2 teaspoons turmeric powder5 garlic clovesFresh ginger (2-inch knob)2 shallots¼ teaspoon blachồng pepper1 tablespoon fresh dill

For fish preparation

Vegetable oil2 bunches scallions, sliced inlớn 2 inch segments2 bunches dill, stems removed


To prepare the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulverize until the garlic, ginger, và shallots are finely minced. Pour the marinade over the fish fillets & let sit in the refrigerator for no more than 1-2 hours (marinating longer will make the fish taste too salty).


To prepare the fish, coat the bottom of a non-stiông xã frying pan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil on medium-high & pan-fry the fish, 3-4 minutes on each side, until evenly browned. Drain the cooked fish on paper towels. Work in batches to cook the remaining fish, adding more oil as needed.


Next, coat the bottom of a stainless steel skillet with vegetable oil. Add the scallions & dill and saungã until completely cooked through, approximately 5-7 minutes.


Add the cooked fish fillets khổng lồ the scallion-dill mixture and gently combine.


Serve immediately over vermicelli rice noodles with crushed peanuts, herbs, & plenty of nước chấm.