Goi Ca or fish salad is a simple Vietnamese meal that has the perfect combination of soft fish meat with crunchy peanuts. A type of fish that is commonly used in this dish is sardines, but you can use sea bass, herring or other types of fish.
There are many different ways to prepare fish salad. There is Goi Ca Trich which is made with pickled herrings and fresh vegetables wrapped in rice paper. Besides that, there is Goi Ca Tai, which is a type of ceviche where raw seafood chopped into small pieces. It is then mixed with chopped tomatoes, garlic, shallots and lime juice.
This Goi Ca version involved marinating fish in vinegar. Then, the marinated fish is mix with spices and crunchy peanuts. The ingredients can be wrapped in rice paper with fresh herbs if preferred.
It is best served with a special sauce that is both the dipping sauce and can be consumed as a broth. The special sauce is made from banana and leftover fish (bone and fish head). So, all parts of fish are used in the making of this delectable dish.
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 1 kg of sea bass (filleted, skin, bone and head removed – keep the bone and head for the sauce)
- 1 red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
- Lemon juice
- 200 ml of vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp of roasted peanuts (chopped)
- Rice paper
Banana fish broth and sauce
- 1 L of water
- Head and bone of the fish
- ½ ripe banana
- 1 tbsp of peanut butter or crushed peanuts
- First, cut the fish fillets into thin strips and place in a large bowl. Pour the vinegar and let it marinate for about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, start preparing the banana fish sauce. Boil the water in the pot. Add the head and bone of the fish to the pot and let it simmer under low heat. Add salt to taste.
- Grind the garlic, onion, chilli, sugar and salt in a mortar. Then, put it aside.
- Grind the banana in the same mortar then add them into the soup. Stir the broth well and add the peanut butter. Simmer it for about 10 minutes or until it thickens.
- Put the marinated fish in the colander to remove the vinegar.
- Mix the fish with the ground onion paste. Sprinkle with roasted peanuts.
- Serve the fish salads with rice paper and fresh herbs if you prefer. Put the banana fish sauce in a small bowl for dips.
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