Vietnamese Prawns with Dill and Rice Noodles

Cha Ca

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Cha ca fish is so popular in Hanoi they have an entire street dedicated to it! The restaurants have only one thing on the menu – turmeric and ginger marinated fish with dill and rice noodles. It’s wok-fried at your table, on a charcoal brazier, and served with lime chilli sauce and roasted peanuts.

Prep 10 minutes, plus 10 minutes marinating
Cook 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) ginger, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400 g 14 oz) large raw peeled and butterflied prawns with tails
  • 200 g 7 oz) rice vermicelli
  • 6 spring onions (scallions), chopped large handful dill stalks and leaves, chopped

Chilli Lime Sauce

  • 100 ml ( fl oz) lime juice
  • 60 ml 2 fl oz) fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp palm or soft brown sugar
  • 1 thumb-sized red chilli, thinly sliced, or 2 Thai chillies, sliced
  • chopped roasted peanuts, lime wedges and coriander (cilantro), to serve

Method

To make the marinade, in a medium bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, turmeric, fish sauce and 1 teaspoon of the oil.

Use a sharp knife to slice down the back of each prawn and rinse out the vein. Add the prawns to the marinade and marinate for about 10 minutes.

To make the chilli lime sauce, in a small bowl mix together all the ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar. If you like more heat, you can add more chillies, but I’ve kept it fairly mild.

In a large bowl, pour boiling water over the noodles. Leave to sit while you cook the prawns.

Heat a large sauté pan with the remaining oil over medium–high heat. Add the spring onions and dill and cook for 1 minute and then add the prawns. Stir-fry until they are cooked through, 2–3 minutes.

Drain the noodles and spoon over the stir-fried prawns.

Serve with a bowl of the chilli lime sauce, chopped roasted peanuts, lime wedges and fresh coriander.