Vietnamese food isn't complicated stuff and often times, it's a rather simple combination of flavor and involves just a few ingredients. The other day, catfish fillet was on sale at the market and it looked good -- thick and with some slimy gloss, a sign of freshness. I bought 2 pounds to fry. Admittedly, catfish steaks would be fried if I was feeling like a purist, but I was looking for a simple home-cooked entree.
One of my favorite recipes is to panfry catfish and then make a relish of slow cooked onion and ginger with a splash of fish sauce at the end. That childhood favorite takes a long time to fry so I decided to deep fry. I was low on onion but high on lime so I opted for a classic Vietnamese. ginger lime dipping sauce (nuoc mam gung), which is often served with seafood. The result was fast, easy and delish. If you're afraid of deep frying, know that this is pretty low on the drama factor. It's very gentle and relatively fast. There was plenty of leftovers, which I refried a couple days later for another meal.