Luke Nguyen's recipe for pan-fried ling packs a flavour punch with ground turmeric, fresh dill, curry powder and more, served on a bed of vermicelli noodles. This is simple Vietnamese cooking at its tasty best. Serve as part of a shared meal.
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) ling fillets
8 spring onions (scallions)
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tsp hot curry powder
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) fish sauce
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bunch dill
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) fish stock
300 g (10½ oz) bean sprouts
125 g (4½ oz) rice vermicelli, cooked
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 1 hour
Cut the ling fillet into 4 cm (1½ in) pieces, place in a bowl and set aside.
Put the white heads of the spring onions (reserving the stalks) and garlic in a mortar and pound to a paste. Add the turmeric, curry powder, yoghurt, fish sauce, sugar, 2 tbsp of the oil and a third of the dill, roughly chopped. Add to the fish and mix well.
Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Thinly slice 4 of the green spring onion stalks.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the remaining oil, then fry the fish fillets on one side for 30 seconds.
Turn the fillets over, add the fish stock and simmer for 3–5 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Remove the fish and squeeze over the juice from the lemon.
Mix the bean sprouts, sliced spring onion, remaining dill and vermicelli together.
Place into bowls and spoon over the fish fillets and sauce.