Cha ca La Vong – Peculiar culture of old streets
Among 36 old streets of Hanoi, there is a street formed and popularly well-known by the name of a specialty that anciently became a typical feature of Vietnamese cuisine as well as expressed the elegance and sophistication of Trang An people. It is Cha Ca street with Cha ca La Vong (grilled fish).
Cha ca La Vong is the famous culinary brandname of Hanoi. It is given a high aprreciation by not only its flavor but also the particular culture of old streets. Cha ca La Vong is ranked in the list of 10 should-not-missed dishes before you die.
The origin of Cha ca La Vong
Cha ca La Vong is the name of a specialty in Hanoi. Actually, this dish was initially cooked by Doan family at house number 14, Cha Ca street (formerly Hang Son street).
During the years under French colonism period, Doan family living at 14 Hang Son often take their house as the place for De Tham insurgent army. The owner also cooked extremely delicious grilled fish with vermicelli for guests and gradually, these guests helped the family open a small restaurant specializing in grilled fish in order to earn money for the family and have a secret place for meetings.
Thanks to its popularity, two sounds “Cha Ca” became the name of the street. Besides, the restaurant displayed a statue of a person named La Vong – Khuong Tu Nha who is sitting to catch fish – the symbol of the talented waiting for their time. Therefore, customers called it Cha ca La Vong. Nowadays, it is also the name of the restaurant and the dish. The secret of making Cha ca is handed down to only the next generations of Doan family.
Cha ca La Vong – subtle feature in Hanoi’s cuisine
Inspite of simple ingredients, they bring a special and unique dish for the enjoyers. You can feel the sweeet but uncloying flavor of grilled fish, especially when eating with herbs and fish sauce or shrimp paste.
The main ingredient of the dish is the special fish called “Lăng” in Vietnamese and “Hemibagrus” in English. The meat of the fish must be taken from two sides and sliced to be marinated with fresh turmeric, galanga, pepper, fish sauce and grilled on the burning coal, then fried in the pan.
The subtle feature of the dish is also shown by the spices because to make a tasty dish, you have to use them with the certain ratio.
You need to eat when it is still hot with vermicelli or dry pancake, stired peanuts, dill, spring onion and shrimp paste.
Remarkable things to remember
A worldwide famous author on cuisine, Patricia Schutltz put Cha ca La Vong into “1000 places to see before you die”
In 2003, NBC of America narrowed down and put Cha ca (grilled fish) into one of the worldclass delicious dishes as well as ranking the restaurant Cha ca La Vong in the fifth position among 10 places to see before you die.
Tags: Vietnamese Fish Recipe, Cha ca la vong