Cha Ca (Vietnamese Grilled Fish) is a rare yet iconic dish in Hanoi that has been listed as one of the 1,001 dishes to eat before you die. One of the unique thing about Cha Ca is that it is usually the only food on the menu of the restaurants that serve it. So it’s either you eat it, or you don’t.
When I was in Hanoi I visited two restaurants that serve this delicacy – one of them is Cha Ca Va Long, which is said to be the inventor of this dish but also a tourist trap. The other one is located at the Old Quarter called Cha Ca Thang Long. The latter is much more affordable (1/3 of the price of Cha Ca Va Long) and serves basically the same tasting dish.
A meal of Cha Ca is made of a few key ingredients: chunks of turmeric marinated white fish meat usually of snakehead fish, cold Vietnamese vermicelli noodles and a few condiments such as peanuts, chopped spring onion, parsley, fish sauce and red chillies. As you might have known by now, the idea is to mix everything into a small bowl and serve.
Cha Ca (Vietnamese Grilled Fish) is a rare yet iconic dish in Hanoi that has been listed as one of the 1,001 dishes to e...