A classic dish from Hanoi. Served at Chả cá Lã Vọng Restaurant in the Old Quarter at $40 per person.



Ingredients:
  • 450 gm (1 lb) monkfish or swordfish, cut into 4 steaks
  • 1 tablespoon muoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered turmeric
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons minced galangal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill (stems removed), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • 250 gm (~1/2 lb) thin rice sticks (vermicelli noodles), softened in warm water for 15 minutes, blanched for 5 seconds, then drained
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, stems trimmed
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai holy basil or sweet basil leaves (stems trimmed), coarsely chopped
Method:
  1. Mix the turmeric and galangal with the fish sauce until well dispersed.
  2. Cut the fish into 5 cm x 2.5 cm (2 in x 1 in)chunks. (Filleted or not)
  3. Mix the fish pieces with turmeric, galangal and fish sauce. Remove and place aside.
  4. Heat a heavy skillet, add the oil, and heat until hot. Transfer the fish into the pan, and sear over high heat for 5 or 6 minutes stirring until golden on the outside and cooked inside.
  5. Add most of the fresh dill and scallions. Stir-fry until wilted and aromatic.
  6. To serve, arrange rice noodles in bowls, and place fish on top. Sprinkle the remaining fresh herbs on top, and serve with dipping sauce.