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Vietnamese Whole Grilled Fish with Crispy Skin (Cá Nướng Da Giòn)

Vietnamese grilled catfish

The Lunar New Year is coming up soon, which means it’s an excellent time to post all the New Year’s recipes that I’ve accumulated photos for over the years… and never posted.


Vietnamese grilled catfish

This one comes from back in 2013. Really, it’s the same recipe I posted waaaaay back in 2009, except this time I made it with a whole, just-killed catfish… and have slightly better photos.

Vietnamese grilled catfish

We had the bright idea this time to head over to 99 Ranch and get a fresh catfish, and have them catch, kill, and gut it for us.

First of all, that took FOREVER. The lines there were insane.

Second of all, nobody tells you that even an hour later, once you’re home and ready to cook it… IT WILL STILL BE MOVING. EVEN AS YOU’RE CUTTING INTO IT.

A video posted by Allison Day (@sushiday) on

Yeah, I definitely got a huge case of the heebie jeebies when I grabbed it out of the bag and it moved.

Vietnamese grilled catfish spring roll

But I did it! And it was delicious. 😀

Vietnamese grilled catfish spring roll

Vietnamese Whole Grilled Fish with Crispy Skin (Cá Nướng Da Giòn)


  • 1 whole catfish, skin on
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • crushed peanuts
  • fried onions

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Make thin cuts diagonally along the fish, almost to the bone.
  3. Lay the fish flat on a sheet of foil.
  4. Rub the fish with the salt, then the sesame oil. Rub the fish with the garlic and onion powders.
  5. Thinly julienne the ginger, then lay on top of and underneath the fish.
  6. Wrap the fish in the foil, and make a few small holes in the top of the foil to allow steam to escape while cooking.
  7. Depending on the size of the fish, cook for half an hour to an hour. Keep an eye on the fish to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
  8. When the fish is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and carefully open the foil, taking care not to burn yourself. Heat the broiler.
  9. Pour the liquid that has pooled in the bottom of the foil into a bowl, and set aside.
  10. Mix the honey and lemon juice, and brush the top of the catfish with it.
  11. Put the fish under the broiler, just until the skin turns golden brown.
  12. Mix the green onions and vegetable oil with the drippings, and microwave for 10-20 seconds. Pour over the fish.
  13. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts and fried onions over the fish, and enjoy!
  14. We ate the fish in spring rolls with lettuce, vermicelli, cucumber, onion, Vietnamese herbs, and pickled carrots, but you can enjoy the fish by itself as well.

Chelsea Stadium, London {May, 2014}

On our second morning in London, we woke up to a chilly – but not raining! – morning.

After noshing on our leftovers from our midnight Pret a Manger snack for breakfast, we headed out to South Kensington Station again.

Train Station

This time, we took the District line to Fulsom Road station.

Train Station
Krispy Kreme

And stopped at Krispy Kreme!

Okay, Krispy Kreme wasn’t really why we were there. But we weren’t about to say no to a doughnut opportunity!

Krispy Kreme
Chelsea Stadium

Our real destination was Chelsea Stadium.

Chelsea Stadium

Son’s a huge soccer (ahem, football) fan, so this is one of the few places he really wanted to make sure we visited while we were in London.

Chelsea Stadium

It was also REALLY COLD AND WINDY there. I attempted to take shelter behind a statue. It didn’t work very well.

Chelsea Stadium

We didn’t have time to go on a stadium tour (although I’m sure we would have if we were in London for more than two days).

Chelsea Stadium

Instead we just ate our peanut butter chocolate Krispy Kreme (SO GOOD)…

Chelsea Stadium

…and did some shopping.

Chelsea Stadium

It might surprise you to find that between the two of us, Son is the one who always wants to go souvenir shopping.

Chelsea Stadium

I can’t stand shopping.

Chelsea Stadium

Yeah, I’m weird like that.

Chelsea Stadium

However, I can’t complain too much, because Son ended up buying a very nice jacket that I got to wear the rest of the day. IT WAS SO WARM.

Chelsea Stadium

Come back Friday to see it!

Weekly Wanderings {2017 week 1}

Happy New Year!!! My wanderings around my world this first week of 2017 started with…

Powering up for a day of sushi making!

Breakfast sandwich

And… we’re off!

Ready to make sushi

First, we make the kappa maki.

Kappa maki

Then, it’s the vegan sushi.

Vegan sushi

Next, it’s time for futomaki.


Then we finish off with the bacon crunchy shrimp roll, spicy shrimp inari, and sashimi… then it’s time to eat!!!

New Year's sushi

Good words for this year.

'It's not how you start, it's how you finish.' - Peppermint Patty

One of Son’s favorite foods is bánh ít trần… especially when his mom makes it for him.

Banh it

An attempt at an origami koi. Not bad for my first try, if I do say so myself!

Origami koi


Son installing a light

Roasted until the tips get all crispy. THE BEST.

I may or may not have just stood at the counter, eating asparagus off the pan with my fingers.


Cut off their heads and carve out their guts.

Dried anchovies

Hot soup on a cold day.

Tofu soup

Comfort food. Very spicy comfort food.


Where are you wandering this week?


Pret a Manger, London {May, 2014}

After our smaller-than-expected-but-still-tasty dinner at St. John’s Restaurant and Bar, off we wandered again.

This telephone booth was an interesting find.

Walking back to Blackfriar station
Walking back to Blackfriar station
Walking back to Blackfriar station
Walking back to Blackfriar station

If you watch Sherlock, you might be familiar with this ambulance station…

(I watched that episode on the plane on our way back home, a couple weeks later, and was like WAIT A MINUTE I WAS TOTALLY JUST THERE.)

Walking back to Blackfriar station
Walking back to Blackfriar station

Our favorite part about London was the architecture. There are so many interesting buildings here!

Walking back to Blackfriar station
Walking back to Blackfriar station
Walking back to Blackfriar station

We found the Blackfriar…

The Blackfriar (outside Blackfriar station)

Who was right next to our intended destination: Blackfriar Station

Blackfriar Station

From there, we took the District line to Westminster station. The moment we stepped out of the station, we looked up and realized we had found Big Ben!

Big Ben
Big Ben

He was looking quite dashing on this stormy night.

Big Ben
The London Eye

And right across the way, you could see the London Eye.

Walking across the bridge

We headed across the river to get a better look.

London Eye
London Eye

… I kind of feel like we just upskirted the London Eye.

London Eye
Eye in the sky

After seeing the sights, we headed back to the hotel, and stopped by a Pret a Manger to pick up food.

Pret a Manger

Pret a Manger is a food-to-go type of place, with lots of pre-made dishes to try.

We got a Vietnamese salad, crawfish sandwich, and a bottle of mandarin lychee juice, and took them back to our hotel to eat.

Vietnamese salad

Soon after, it was off to bed.

Next, we’ll be off to Chelsea Stadium!

Roasted Carrot Soup With Dukkah Spice And Yogurt

Carrot Soup

Happy New Year!

Raise of hands, who’s making resolutions to eat better, exercise more, lose weight?

Well, lately I’ve got the exercise part down. (Easy – just find something that’s a ton of fun! 😉 )

Lose weight? Hahahaaaa…. these hips are quite stubborn, I’m afraid.

And eat better… well, I try that every month or so, but things (ahem, somebody’s got a sweet tooth) somehow always get in the way.

Dukkah Spice Mix

Don’t worry – I’m not one to suggest a juice cleanse (I’d probably kill somebody) or going carb-free (I tried that once… can you say, “hangry”?)

I don’t have the discipline to go on any of those fad diets. But what I can do is introduce more tasty, healthy things to my life.

This carrot soup is easy, good for you, and thanks to the dukkah, it’s pretty interestingly-flavored, too. No boring health food here!

Dukkah Spice Mix

Recipe from Bon Appetit’s December 2012 issue.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted, shelled raw natural pistachios
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Cooking Directions

  1. Toast pistachios in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about six minutes. Transfer to a small plate and let cool. Add sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and peppercorns to same skillet. Toast, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer spices to the plate with the nuts and let cool. Transfer nut and spice mixture and salt to a food processor or a mortar and pestle and coarsely grind.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the butter, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until the carrots are tender and just beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Let the carrots cool slightly.
  3. Transfer the carrots to a blender. Add the vegetable broth. Blend mixture until soup is very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Pour the soup into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can add a little water to the soup for a thinner consistency, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide hot soup among bowls. Spoon a dollop of yogurt on top of each bowl of soup. Sprinkle with the dukkah spice mixture.