Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vietnamese fish cake recipe

Vietnamese fish cake - Chả cá

Watch my video how to make Vietnamese fish cake on Van's Kitchen Youtube

Blog in Vietnamese: Video cách làm chả cá

Vietnamese fish cake is popular in Vietnam, both as a street food and a homemade food. It's usually served with rice or noodles. Fish cakes made from Spanish mackerel or featherbacks seem to be the most popular. Unfortunately, I cannot get these fish fresh at local grocery stores, so I always end up using tilapia. But the result is still very good. With just a little flour added in, you can enjoy the taste of fresh fish with every bite.

The traditional method is to use a mortar and pestle, and pound by hand to bring out the fish paste's chewy texture. But I use a Kitchenaid stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Cooking is so much more fun with this great kitchen tool (^-^)
Vietnamese fish cake - Chả cá

2 lbs (907g) tilapia fillet
3 tbsp (45 ml) fish sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp (30 g) sugar
½ tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp (30 g) tapioca flour
½  tsp baking powder
¼ cup finely chopped green onion, white part only
vegetable oil for frying


Wash and dry the fish fillets well with paper towel. Then cut into cubes.
Mix sugar, salt, pepper, fish sauce, and oil well until dissolved. Pour this mixture into the fish fillet cubes, and mix well.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 2 hours, or until the fish is extremely chilled, but without actually freezing.
Take the fish out of the freezer, and grind it the first time.Then cover, and place in the freezer to chill again, for about 2 more hours. Take out, and repeat grinding a second time.
After grinding all the fish a second time, if it is not chilled enough, we need to place in freezer a third time to chill again before moving to the next step.

Mix tapioca flour with baking powder, and add to the ground fish bowl. Start running the KitchenAid stand mixture with the paddle attachment, gradually mix on slow speed flour mixture into the ground fish. Then raise to medium speed, and continue mixing for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is well combined. Finally, add the chopped green onion and stir well.

Heat the oil while shaping the fish paste into the size you want. When the oil starts to smoke, drop the fish cake into the oil. Fry one side for about 6 minutes, then flip it over and continue fry an other side for 6 more minutes until it is well done. Take out and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Let it cool down a bit, slice then serve.
You can make a lot, then store in the freezer for several months.

Vietnamese fish cake - Chả cá



  1. I love fish cake! Can't wait to try it. Will it work with cornstarch?

  2. Yes, cornstarch would work! (^^)

  3. Hi chị, can I use basa fillet and add in some ground dill as I don't like to strong fishy smell? Thanks chị

  4. Vietnamese food is quite unlike any other food in Southeast Asia. It's even quite different from China. Overall it's a blend of Malay, Indian, French and influences and incorporates baguettes and pate from France; and curries and chilies from India. best ceramic cookware sets

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