Bun cha ca is a beautiful noodle soup that’s topped with the most delicious Vietnamese fish cake. A really easy and moreish recipe that’s healthy and quick to make.
One of the reasons bun cha ca is so delicious is because of its broth. Sweet tomatoes, fragrant dill and sour tamarind all come together to make a clear and tasty broth. A traditional recipe would call for a fresh stock made from fish bones, but with a gorgeously chatty little girl and a small baby crawling round, that’s not going to happen in my house. Instead, I kept things simple and used fresh chicken stock flavoured with jarred tamarind and it tasted great.
The Vietnamese fish cake can be made with a variety of fish. Some recipes call for oilier fish, such as mackerel whilst others use white fish. Personally, I prefer the less intense flavour of white fish so I used hake and it worked really well. (if you like seafood, check out these epic king prawn patties they’re SO good!)
Finish off the bun cha ca with rice noodles, fresh crisp lettuce & a large handful of herbs.
A shout out to Yummy Vietnam for sharing their recipe, thank you! It gave me with the inspiration to create my own Vietnamese fish cake broth.
Bun Cha Ca
Vietnamese Fish Cakes
- 400 g white fish fillet (hake worked well)
- 1 handful dill leaves picked and chopped
- 2 birds eye chillies finely chopped
- 1 tsp fish sauce
Other Bun Cha Ca Ingredients
- 100 g shallots sliced
- 150 g fresh tomatoes chopped
- 800 ml chicken stock
- 30 g tamarind paste
- 1 handful dill leaves picked
- 3 spring onions sliced
- 2 portions vermicelli rice noodles cooked & drained
- to garnish lettuce leaves, basil, coriander and/or mint leaves
- In a processor pulse the fish, dill, chilli & fish sauce along with plenty of black pepper until they form a rough paste. Roll into a dozen or so equal sized patties & flatten slightly. Refrigerate for 40 mins.
- In a saucepan, sweat shallots over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes, cook for a couple more minutes. Pour over stock & stir in tamarind & fish sauce to taste.
- Once chilled, remove fish cakes from fridge. In a hot pan, fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked. Place somewhere warm while you finish the broth.
- Stir dill & spring onions through broth & allow to soften. Divide the noodles between two bowls, then ladle over the broth. Finish with lettuce & herbs & top with fish cakes.