Life’s a Feast: Turmeric Fish Noodle Salad


PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: 10 mins

SERVES: 4 people

Not quite as well known as the iconic ‘pho’, this simple take on the Vietnamese dish ‘cha ca la Vong’ represents the elegance and complexity of Hanoi cuisine.

This dish features fish that has been marinated in turmeric, then combined with spring onions, shallots and dill and served on noodles with a perfectly-balanced sauce.

The turmeric gives the dish a mild earthy flavour, and visually looks stunning with the beautifully-golden fish and green herbs. Fast and simple to make, this taste sensation is a must-try. Enjoy



1/2 cup fresh dill sprigs

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finelygrated

2 shallots, roughly chopped

Juice of half a lime

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons peanut oil


4 firm white fish fillets (about 700g, I used blue cod)

1 tablespoon ground turmeric (use freshly grated if can source it)

200g vermicelli noodles

5 spring onions sliced in 3cm pieces

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

8 bok choy leaves, thinly sliced

Dressing for salad

60ml fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon caster sugar


3 shallots, thinly sliced

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped(optional)

Lime wedges, to serve


1.Place two tablespoons of the dill, then the rest of the ingredients for the paste, into a pestle and mortar. Pound until a paste forms. Set aside until ready to use.

2.Place fish in a bowl. Sprinkle and coat with the turmeric. Season with a little salt. Cover. Set aside until ready to cook.

3.Meanwhile, place noodles in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water. Use a fork to separate noodles. Drain in a sieve. Leave in the sieve as you will have to re-run under water to separate noodles before serving.

4.Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and mix until the sugar dissolves.

5.Place about two tablespoons vegetable oil in a pan and heat to a high heat. Quickly fry your three sliced shallots and one sliced chilli (in the garnish section of ingredients) until the shallots turn golden. Drain on to a paper towel and set aside.

6.Next in same pan pour a little water and blanche the bok choy for about a minute. Run under cold water and drain.

7.Quickly rinse and drain noodles again to loosen them, then place in a large bowl. Pour over the dressing and add in the chopped spring onion, sliced red chilli, cooked bok choy and thoroughly combine through the noodles.

8.Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan to a medium-high heat. Cook fish for two minutes each side until golden. Transfer to a plate and drain on paper towels. Allow to rest for two minutes while you cook the paste.

9.Heat two more tablespoons of peanut oil in the fish pan over medium-high heat. Tip in your paste and cook for 2-3 minutes until shallots have cooked through but not browned. Take off heat and set aside.

10.To plate up, evenly divide your noodle salad across four bowls. Gently break up the fish fillets and place evenly across the bowls. Next, gently spoon the cooked paste over the fish then sprinkle the crispy shallots and chilli. Serve immediately with a lime wedge.