Cha Ca La Vong (Vietnamese Turmeric Fish with Dill)

What I like most about Asian cuisine is the way they use herbs and spices in every dish with layers of flavor. Among the countries that excel in this flavorful journey, Vietnam stands out prominently.

Vietnamese cuisine is a true celebration of fresh herbs and aromatic spices, and it’s evident in iconic dishes like Pho and Bun Cha. However, one dish that has particularly captured my taste buds is Cha Ca La Vong, a delightful dish that showcases the ingenious use of turmeric and dill.

Cha ca la vong recipe
Dill fish recipe

Cha Ca La Vong, also known as Vietnamese Turmeric Fish with Dill, takes fish to a whole new dimension. It is the generous incorporation of turmeric, fresh dill, and other spices. I had no idea that dill, turmeric, and fish can go so well together. While the turmeric imparts a rich golden hue to the fish, the dill imparts a refreshing and citrusy aroma that cuts through the richness of the turmeric-infused flavors.

For this Vietnamese fish dish, you need to use white fish. In Vietnam, catfish or snakehead fish are popular choices. However, you can use other white fish like cod, sea bass, or halibut. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s fresh and firm.

Here is the Vietnamese Tumeric Fish recipe (Cha Ca La Vong):

Authentic Cha Ca La Vong Recipe (Tumeric Fish with Dill)

A dish offers a harmonious mix of earthy and herbal flavors
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Vietnamese
Servings 6
Calories 630 kcal


For the fish

  • 2 pound firm white fish fillets such as catfish or cod, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 tbsp minced galangal
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste or fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1-2 inch Fresh ginger

For the dipping sauce

  • 2-3 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp hot cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1-2 tsp white wine
  • 1 thinly sliced chili
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Other Ingredients

  • 5 green onions sliced
  • 1 cup fresh dill chopped
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts peeled
  • 2 pound rice noodle


  • Blend all the ingredients (turmeric powder, minced galangal, ground pepper, chopped dill, plain yogurt, and fresh ginger) until smooth and creamy.
  • In a large bowl, mix the fish fillets with the mixture above. Add fish sauce or shrimp paste. Cover the mixture and allow it to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator if possible.
  • Preheat the oven to 480°F (250°C)
  • Brush the fish with oil and bake in the oven at for 15 minutes
  • Heat oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the baked fish chunks and cook until the fish is golden brown. Add chopped dill and green onions to the pan, stir well to combine.
  • In a small bowl, combine shrimp paste, sugar, hot oil, garlic, chili, and white wine. Mix until well-blended. Stir in lemon juice until the mixture becomes foamy. If you don't like this dipping sauce, you can make another version by mixing fish sauce, minced garlic, sugar, chili, and lemon juice.
  • Assemble Cha Ca La Vong on a plate and sprinkle with roasted peanuts. You can serve it with rice noodles or steamed rice.
    Cha ca la vong recipe
Keyword herbs, homemade, South East Asia, vietnamese
Johanna Cleveland
About the author

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

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