Recipe: Grilled Skewered Snakehead (Ca Loc Nuong Trui )

Recipe: Grilled Skewered Snakehead (Ca Loc Nuong Trui )

Grilled snakehead fish is a speciality dish from South of Vietnam. The snakehead fish is popular in Vietnam, Thailand, India, Philippines, and Malaysia. This fish can be found in rivers, lakes, and ponds. The grilled snakehead fish are well-known due to their simple method cooking which produces fragrant and tender meat. 

The snakehead fish is caught fresh from the river and only the intestines need to be removed. The fish scales are kept to be cooked together and do not require any marinating. Then, a small bamboo stick to skewer the fish from head to the tail.

The fish is cooked by burying it in the haystack/straws that are on fire, for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the fish sizes. When the fish is cooked, the outer layer with scorched scales are scraped off to reveal fragrant white meat. While serving this dish, the fish is often sprinkled with peanuts and green onions. It is typically served with fresh vegetables, rice vermicelli and condiments such as tamarind fish sauce, or salt mixed with chilli.

The snakehead fish is a freshwater fish that are native to parts of Africa and Asia. It is well-known to have large mouths, shiny teeth and able to breathe above water which allows them to migrate short distances over the land. Its appearance caused it to gain the reputation of a monster fish and is known as an invasive species in certain countries. If you are not a fan of fishing, this fish can be found at the wet market and certain fish farms. 


  • 3 snakehead fish
  • 3 bamboo sticks (can be replaced with metal long rod)

(For serving)

  • Cooked rice or rice noodles (depending on preferences)
  • 200g of roasted peanuts
  • 5 green onions (thinly chopped)
  • Any fresh vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage or cucumber.
  • Tamarind fish sauces or dipping sauce.

(Dipping sauce)

  • 4 tbsp of fresh lime juices
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 4 red chillies (removed seed and chopped)


  1. Wash the fish and removed the entire intestine through the mouth. Be careful of its sharp teeth.
  2. Skewered the fish with bamboo sticks from head to tail.
  3. Grill the fish on top of hot charcoal for about 5 to 10 minutes for each side.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the dipping sauce by combining the dipping sauce ingredients in the bowl and mix them well.
  5. Serve the grilled fish after removing the scales, and then sprinkle with roasted peanuts and green onion on top. Enjoy the grilled fish with rice, fresh vegetables and dipping sauce.

Article Written By Mico Hu

Mico is a professional creative writer in Foodpanda. She writes about travel, fashion, and food. Also, she enjoy travelling to new places and also eating delicious food.

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