Chao ca: Vietnamese fish porridge


From The Ravenous Couple



Goodbye honeymoon bliss, hello stark reality. Following 12 days of carefree honeymooning Spain where everyday was an culinary adventure, the first thing we craved after a grueling trans-Atlantic and cross country flight back to Los Angeles was something homey,  simple, and soupy.  We expected a warmer welcome, but was greeted with cold, heavy rain, and even hail upon our return.   To top it off, we were both feeling a bit under the weather so a therapeutic and comforting bowl of cháo (rice porridge or congee) was the first thing we made as soon as the jetlag wore off.







chao ca




chao ca


There are many different versions of cháo, but the most common are cháo gà (chicken), cháo lòng (pig offal/innards), and cháo cá (fish). Just as there are many varieties, there are just as many ways to make cháo. Some make a plan plain thick bland porridge and then add different types of broth and toppings. We present a very traditional southern way of making cháo cá, made famous in the Mekong delta region, known for its abudance of fish and sea life and floating markets.


You can use any type of firm white flesh fish, however the traditional fish used in the Mekong is cá lóc, the snakehead fish.  We prefer using a whole fish (we used stripe bass. Also if you have frozen shrimp shells saved, use those too) to make stock, however fish filets are acceptable as well.   The easy way would be to cut the fish into bite size pieces and add that to the porridge to cook, however the traditional way of making fish stock and sauteeing the flesh in garlic makes for a deeper and more soulful flavor and totally worth the extra effort.


This is our entry to Delicious Vietnam a blogging event to celebrate Vietnamese cuisine. This month’s event is hosted by the lovely couple, Ginger and Scotch at the eponymous blog Ginger and Scotch. Visit their blog for the complete round up!

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE!!!!!

Báo Người Việt hoan nghênh quý vị độc giả đóng góp và trao đổi ý kiến. Chúng tôi xin quý vị theo một số quy tắc sau đây:

Tôn trọng sự thật.
Tôn trọng các quan điểm bất đồng.
Dùng ngôn ngữ lễ độ, tương kính.
Không cổ võ độc tài phản dân chủ.
Không cổ động bạo lực và óc kỳ thị.
Không vi phạm đời tư, không mạ lỵ cá nhân cũng như tập thể.

Tòa soạn sẽ từ chối đăng tải các ý kiến không theo những quy tắc trên.

Xin quý vị dùng chữ Việt có đánh dấu đầy đủ. Những thư viết không dấu có thể bị từ chối vì dễ gây hiểu lầm cho người đọc. Tòa soạn có thể hiệu đính lời văn nhưng không thay đổi ý kiến của độc giả, và sẽ không đăng các bức thư chỉ lập lại ý kiến đã nhiều người viết. Việc đăng tải các bức thư không có nghĩa báo Người Việt đồng ý với tác giả.

Traditional meals for Tet

Titi Mary Tran/ Nguoi Viet English Tet, the Vietnamese celebration of the Lunar New Year, is this weekend - Friday through Sunday.  Relatives from overseas and out of states are arriving to visit loved ones and gather around their "anchored"...

Little Saigon prepares flower market for Tet 2018

Titi Mary Tran/ Nguoi Viet English WESTMINSTER, Calif. (NV) - When the sun sets on Thursday, owners of flower shops and Tet's games and trucks start pouring in Asian Garden Mall, preparing for the opening of Tet's flower market Friday,...

When going to the market is not a chore, but a joy

Titi Mary Tran/ Nguoi Viet English ANTONY, France (NV) - If going to the grocery market is a daily chore, a number of reasons would spring to mind: not enough time, two many options, ingredients are tasteless, generic modified food,...

Dual-language program hailed by parents, community

Don Luong’s son won’t enter kindergarten until the fall of 2019, but he’s already starting to think about his educati

Stephane Gauger, noted Vietnamese American director, die

Stephane Gauger, a Vietnamese American director known for his work in films including “Owls and Sparrows” and “Saigon Electric,” died Wednesday of heart failure. He was 48.

Contest updates:

The drawing and writing contest announcement has been sent to 5 school districts around Little Saigon.

Volunteers needed to serve on Orange County grand jury

The Orange County Superior Court is seeking volunteers to serve on the grand jury.

When there is no place to call home, home is where the heart is

Home is where the heart is. Home is where all the loved ones are with you.

Nguoi Viet Daily News announces writing contest for Vietnamese American children, teens

Nguoi Viet Daily News announces writing contest for Vietnamese American children, teens. Finalists' work will be published and awarded.

A Letter from London: Cinema and History

Lately, I haven’t wanted to follow anything related to Vietnam, including all the things people write about the Vietnam War.