Cha Ca La Vong Recipe | PBS Food

Get the Cha Ca La Vong recipe featured in Family Ingredients on PBS.



  • Noodles:
  • 1 pack of vermicelli noodles
  • Herb Mix:
  • 2 c dill, cleaned and picked
  • 2 c mint, cleaned and picked
  • 2 c shiso, cleaned and picked
  • 2 c rau ram, cleaned and picked
  • 2 c onion sprouts, cleaned and picked
  • Fish Marinade:
  • 8 ea 10 oz fresh catfish fillets, skinned
  • 100g shallot
  • 300g galangal, peeled, chopped
  • 160 g fresh turmeric, washed well and chopped
  • 150 g ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 25g dry turmeric
  • 10g black pepper corns
  • 325 g olive oil
  • 900 g plain yogurt
  • 150 g fish sauce
  • 25 g mushroom powder
  • 60 g sugar
  • Mam Tom Sauce:
  • 225g pineapple
  • 32g garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 125g ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 98g mam tom bac, aka fermented shrimp paste
  • 280g sugar
  • 380g lime juice
  • 215g fish sauce
  • 1 can of coco water
  • 125g-chili sambal olek


  1. Noodles:Cook noodles per instructions on package. Drain, rinse and cool.
  2. Herb Mix: Mix all the herbs together, reserve.
  3. Fish Marinade: Blend everything in the fish marinade together until smooth. Be sure to marinate fish for at least 4 hours, overnight preferred. Once marinated, take out and remove excess marinade. On medium heat, heat up a sauté pan with enough grape seed oil to cover the bottom. Once oil is hot, carefully put in the fish and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side till golden brown. Once browned, take out of pan and reserve.
  4. Mam Tom Sauce: Blend pineapple, garlic, ginger, mam tom bac, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and coco rico till smooth. Add the sambal and mix well. Store in refrigerator. VERY IMPORTANT to do this 1-2 days in advance for the flavors to develop and funk of the fermented shrimp paste to mellow out.
  5. To Finish: Arrange the vermicelli noodles in a bowl. Place the cooked catfish on top. Sprinkle a spoonful each of fried shallots and roasted peanuts. Spread a generous amount of the herb mix on top and serve with the mam tom sauce on the side.
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