Ca Hap – Vietnamese Ginger Steamed Fish

Let me introduce to one of my most favorite recipes: Ca Hap. Nothing is more homey to me than rice and delicately steamed fish topped with glass noodles, ginger, fermented soy beans (which tastes so much better than it sounds), tomato and orange slices. It’s also another great example of one of the many unique sweet and salty combinations of Vietnamese food. It’s also packed with tons of flavors!

Although traditionally it’s steamed in a Chinese pot steamer, microwaving gets the job done the same and cuts back 3-4 hours! And as a student like me with very little time, it makes me love this dish even more! Enjoy!

Ca Hap – Vietnamese Ginger Steamed Fish


  • 1 Whole Tilapia – medium sized; washed, gutted, scaled, and cut in half (width wise)
  • ~1/4 Cup Fermented Soy Beans
  • ~3-4 Scallions – sectioned into ~1/2-2″ pieces
  • ~3-4″ of Ginger root – sliced thinly
  • 1/3 Orange – sliced thinly (with the peel)
  • 1 pkg of Black Fungus – washed ans soaked for ~30 minutes prior to cooking
  • 2-3 bunches of Bun Tau/Glass Noodles – soaked for about 5-10 minutes prior to cooking
  • 1 white onion – sectioned into small pieces
  • 1 med tomato – quartered into small pieces
  • Mushroom Powder
  • Salt/Sugar/Pepper


The marinade (several hours or overnight prior to cooking)

1. Add: ~2 tbsp of fermented soybeans, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp mushroom powder, 2 tsp sugar, orange slices, ~1/3 of the ginger and scallions, and a few dashes of pepper into a small bowl. Mix thoroughly.

2. In a large bowl, rub the marinade all over the fish (inside and out). Pour the rest over the fish. Seran wrap cover the bowl, refrigerate and let marinade for at least 3-4 hours prior to cooking.  (I like to marinate overnight)

Cooking the fish:

1. Microwave the fish covered for 5 minutes on each side, one half at a time.

2. In a wide pot, saute your white onions with a little bit of olive oil. Cook until somewhat see-through.

3. Add in the rest of your ginger and tomato. Saute for about 3-4 minutes

4. Add in black fungus and bun tau.

5. Add in ~1/2 tbsp sugar and salt. Add also about 1 tsp mushroom and 1-2 tbsp of fermented soybeans.

6. Taste and adjust accordingly. If desired for more sauce, add in a little chicken broth and add spices according to taste. Add a few dashes of pepper. Cook until thoroughly done.

7. Place half of the topping on half of the fish in a large bowl. Top with half of the your scallions.

8. Cover in seran wrap and microwave for 3 minutes. Check the fish by running a chopstick through the fish – it should run down all the way very easily and smoothly.

9. Repeat the same for the other half.

10. Serve with rice when down. I’m having a couscous moment right now so I’ve served it with that and it’s sooooo good!

Happy cooking!


About cookingvivi

Part time eye doctor, occasional world traveler, full time food lover
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