La-Vong grilled fish (Chả cá Lã Vọng)


The fishes are finally here! Four guppies!

Last night I asked my 4-year-old to count the fishes. I don’t want to brag, but of course I’m bragging: my baby can count to 100!!!!

After a minute, he exclaimed: Seven!

So, I asked him to recount. Then he said 8. Of course I asked him to redo it again. Then he had 5. Again, 6…

Finally, I sat down and counted with him. Not until then did I realize what he meant.

He was short, so from his angle, he can see the reflection of the fishes and he counted that too. Of course his counting depended on how many fishes were swimming near the surface at the moment.

Big lesson for mommy: how to see from other people’s point of view (literally!!!).


La-Vong Grilled Fish (Chả cá Lã Vọng)

2 lbs Chilean sea bass (cut ~2″ length)
1 tbs shrimp paste
2 tsp galangal powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp ground pepper
4 tbs canola oil

To serve:
Noodle (cooked and drained)
2 tbs shrimp paste
1 tsp sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Thai chili (sliced)
Canola oil
Unsalted roasted peanuts (crushed)
1 bunch of dill (cut ~2″ length)
1 bunch of spring onion (cut ~2″ length)

  1. Marinate the first 7 ingredients together. Cover and set aside for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake the fishes slightly, for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Prepare dipping sauce: Mix together 2 tbs shrimp paste + 1 tsp sugar + juice of 1/2 lime. Readjust to your taste. Add Thai chili.
  4. To serve the traditional way: place an induction cooker on the table, heat a small skillet under high heat, drizzle about 1 tbs canola oil. Add dill, spring onion, and pre-baked fishes and cook until well-done. Each person takes some noodle in his/her bowl, add the cooked fishes, dills, and spring onions, add a teaspoon of dipping sauce, and finally sprinkle some chopped peanuts.

Note: If the dipping sauce from shrimp paste is too strong for you, replace it by a fish-sauce dipping sauce as follows: 1 tbs sugar + 1 tbs fish sauce + 1 tbs lime juice + 1 1/2 tbs water. No one will laugh at you. I hope.