La Vong Grilled fish pies
From the past to nowadays, Hanoi people have enjoyed cooking and eating delicious, fresh foods. This art form has become a unique cultural attraction for everybody Visiting Hanoi from the first time.
The precise thing that makes Hanoi cuisine so special is difficult to explain, but can be seen not only in the processing, but also in the hearts of people who cook and try the dishes. All of the Hanoi dishes have different aromatic flavors and form a major part of Vietnamese society and their tradition.
Cha Ca La Vong is often referred to in guide books as a must-not-miss experience. These popular reviews ensure foreign tourists always search for the “Cha Ca La Vong” restaurant in order to try this delicious and traditional dish of Hanoi.
When the weather is a little bit cold, the “Cha Ca La Vong” restaurant is crowded with many customers. On weekends, people line up and wait for a long time or book early to ensure they get a table. This famous restaurant can now be considered a trade mark of Vietnamese cuisine.
Cha Ca La Vong (La Vong grilled fish pies) was invented in the early 19th century by a member of the Doan family who had moved to Hanoi from Bac Ninh. Here he lived with his son on Hang Son street (now named Cha Ca) where he regularly tasted food and met with wide range of acquaintances. During these dining events, Mr. Doan dined out his friends frequently, cooking grilled fish for his parties. His family thought that this dish could make a profit so his wife opened a restaurant to sell his delicious food. Now Hanoi has several restaurants selling La Vong grilled fish on their menu, but the most famous of all is “Cha Ca La Vong” restaurant on Cha Ca street.
At first people think that La Vong grilled fish is easy to cook but this dish requires a great deal of processing. Normally, the fish used is Butterfish, Mullet or Sheat-fish; however the best kind of fish for this dish is Hemibagrus. The recipe has some several steps: First process the fish into a pulp, then mix fish with some spices such as saffron, alpinia, shrimp paste, fish sauce, peppercorn, sugar and table oil. Next marinate the fish for 2 hours in order for it to absorb all of the spices and finally grill it until cooked.
La Vong grilled fish is always served with different kinds of vegetables, some slices of red peppers and a remarkable culinary invention.