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Vietnamese Fish with Turmeric-Dill Sauce (Cha Ca La Vong)

This classic Hanoi recipe combines Vietnamese catfish with fresh dill, sliced onions, fish sauce and turmeric. The ingredients are a totally unexpected combination, but they WORK. You can use any semi-firm white fish, or even tofu for a veggie version. To make this Paleo you can omit the rice noodles, or sub kelp or miracle noodles. Or just serve the whole thing in lettuce wraps!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons honey or cane sugar, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pound catfish, cod, haddock, halibut or other white semi-firm fish, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 14 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to package directions, for serving
  • 1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, for serving


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the red onion, 2 tablespoons dill, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, coconut oil, sriracha, honey and turmeric; stir until combined. Fold in the fish and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to packaged directions and divide between 4 bowls with a few leaves of Bibb lettuce as garnish.
  4. Transfer the fish to an 8x8 baking dish and broil until the fillets are cooked through and the red onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Spoon the fish over the noodles and lettuce and garnish with the remaining dill. A few extra lime wedges wouldn’t hurt either.