Sunday, June 26, 2011

Whole Baked Catfish at Vietnam House (San Gabriel, CA)

A quick pho trip turned into a lavish meal of whole baked catfish. We just couldn't help ourselves once we saw it on the menu. The whole catfish (around $30-35 depending on the size) came topped with garlic and scallions, the aroma carries to the edge of the table. This is perhaps the tour de force of Vietnam House's menu.

Baked Whole Catfish
The catfish is served with the usual condiments. Vermicelli noodles, herbs and lettuce and pickled carrots, rice paper to wrap it all in, and fish sauce for dipping. (I keep noticing how in much of Vietnamese food, you don't really eat rice but rice paper, rice noodles, and rice cakes).
Catfish and Condiments

Take some of the meaty flesh, the charred fatty skin and roll it all up with the herbs! The bones were not completely gone, but hey, think of it as part of the wrapping and rolling activity.
Rice paper wrapped Catfish
The small fish can feed about 3-4 people so get a group together so you can try the other stuff on the menu also.

Since I love banh beo (rice cakes), I was curious to try the version topped with mung bean and dipped in coconut milk. I thought they were a bit strange, though, and I much prefer the one with dried shrimp and fish sauce.
Banh Beo
I also ordered a token pho as I was craving it. While it's not the best pho I've had, it's a satisfying bowl with nice medium rare strips of meat.
The highlight of our meal was certainly the whole baked catfish, which is worth the 30-minute wait. Vietnamese food goes far beyond pho and broken rice and this catfish is a great example of that. Get wrapping, and bring some friends.

Vietnam House
710 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 282-3472
Vietnam House on Urbanspoon



that catfish is both hideous and gorgeous


gahhh! my dream meal! thank you for reporting on this :)

its been my dad go-to pho place for the last six years but I've never got the catfish before!

I remember I got the bahn beo with coconut milk and I didn't like it then, time to try again!

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