Vietnamese Turmeric Grilled Fish - Ca La Vong

  • Post by Ang Cooks
  • Feb 04, 2022

This was a speciality dish of Mama’s (grandma) — we would have it on special dinner nights. The fish would be prepped ahead of time and cooked using a gas burner stove in the middle of the family dinner table when serving. What a treat it was :)


For the fish marinade:

  • 1.5 lb catfish fillets
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 tsp MSG
  • 1.5 tbsp cooking oil

When cooking the fish:

  • 2 green onions (cut into 2” pieces)
  • 4 sprigs of dill (cut into 2” pieces)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/4 white onion

To serve:

  • Rice vermicelli noodles (bun)
  • Fresh Vietnamese herbs
  • ”Mam Tom” sauce (with lime, sugar, peppers)
  • Roasted peanuts


  1. Start by marinating your fish with all the ingredients listed “for the fish marinade” — allow this to marinate for at least 15 minutes or overnight.

  2. To cook, add 2 tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat.

  3. Add your green onion and white onion. Cook for 30 seconds.

  4. Add your marinated fish and allow to cook for 9-10 minutes (or until the fish is fully cooked).

  5. Add your dill and turn off the heat. Stir to combine and top with roasted peanuts.

  6. Serve this fish hot with a side of rice vermicelli noodles, fresh Vietnamese herbs, and Mam Tom sauce (mix of shrimp paste, lime, thai peppers, and sugar)