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‘Cha ca’: fish dish with a lasting legacy

By Pham Van   June 20, 2016 | 08:29 pm GMT+7

Some say you don't know the true value of local food until you leave your home. However, Hanoi’s ‘cha ca’ still somehow effortlessly wins the hearts of both locals and globetrotters who find themselves in the middle of the bewildering capital's chaos.

‘Cha ca’, or fish nuggets with rice noodles, was once a local delicacy prized by royalty. Now that the rare river fish that appeased the palates of kings has neared the verge of extinction, chefs have to resort to the more familiar catfish.

The dish, together with Hoan Kiem Lake and Ta Hien Street, are must-tries when in Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake, for the cultural part of Hanoi; Ta Hien, for the nightlife and street culture; and ‘cha ca’, for a delicacy that sets Hanoian gastronomy apart from the rest of Vietnam. The latter has even secured itself a street named exactly ‘cha ca’, which, in the good old days, sold only the namesake. These days, ‘cha ca’ no longer stands alone, being accompanied by ‘La Vong’, the famous eatery that built its name on the dish to make the rhythmic combination ‘Cha Ca La Vong’.

So what's so special about these fish nuggets? Imagine the feeling of the crispy sound of roasted peanuts served as a starter. You surround yourself with dozens of sizzling table stoves and scores of customers taking turns picking fish nuggets entangled in dill and spring onion in and out of pans onto a bowl of rice noodles. And when you find yourself doing the ritual stirring of the shrimp paste as everyone else around you does, Hanoi has truly found its way into your soul.

#chacalavong #hanoifood #hanoiwander

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#chacalavong #with #team ăn không ngonnn gì cả :(((((

A photo posted by Phương Phương (@duongphuong1103) on