Stir-fried fish with dill

Stir-fried fish with dill

Stir-fried fish with dill and rice noodles

Preparation time 15 minutes / cooking time five minutes / serves four

This delicious Vietnamese specialty is called cha ca. An entire street in Hanoi is dedicated to restaurants that specialise in it. My family and I visited there quite a few times on our trip. The turmeric and garlic–marinated fish is stir-fried with copious amounts of dill including the stalks. It’s eaten over rice noodles with pickled red chillies, herbs and crushed peanuts and is utterly divine. Totally simple and amazing. Be sure to use fish that is thick and non-flaky and that can withstand stir-frying.

You will need:

One small onion, coarsely grated
Two garlic cloves, chopped
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, finely chopped
Two teaspoons ground turmeric
Two tablespoons fish sauce
Two tablespoons peanut oil
900 g (2 lb) piece of skinless barramundi, red snapper, monkfish or tilapia fillet, cut into 4 cm (11⁄2 inch) chunks
200 g (7 oz) dried rice vermicelli noodles
Six spring onions, thinly sliced
40 g (11⁄2 oz/2/3 cup) roughly chopped dill stalks and leaves
Chopped roasted peanuts
Coriander sprigs
Sliced red chilli marinated in rice vinegar
Lime, to serve

Combine the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, fish sauce and one teaspoon of the peanut oil in a bowl. Mix well, then add the fish and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large bowl and pour over boiling water to cover well. Leave to sit for about 5 minutes or until tender, then drain.

Heat the remaining peanut oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the spring onion and dill and cook for 1 minute, then add the fish mixture. Stir-fry for 3–4 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Divide the noodles among bowls and serve the fish on top with its juices spooned over. Serve with a small sprinkling of peanuts, the coriander, chilli vinegar and lime.

Prep ahead:
The fish can be marinated up to three hours before or frozen in the marinade.

The skinny:
The fresh herbs, turmeric and fish sauce provide punch without the fat and the rice noodles keep this dish filling.

Recipe taken from Skinny Meals in Heels by Jennifer Joyce, published by Murdoch Books.