I've said before, that when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, cooking with dill is something that is more common in the north. It's most well-known in Cha Ca Thang Long (Vietnamese Hanoi-Style Turmeric Fish with Dill), but I also encountered Ca Kho Sot Ca Chua Thi La (Vietnamese Braised Fish with Tomato Dill Sauce) when I was in Hanoi in 2005.
It was on a boat trip down the Red River with stops at a few temples along the way, including Tien Dung Chu Dong Tu Temple, also known as the Temple of Love. There's a great story about Princess Tien Dung, daughter of Hung Vuong III, who wasn't all that interested in marriage and amused herself by exploring the countryside with her entourage.
Chu Dong Tu was a poor fisherman, who took turns sharing one loincloth between him and his father. When his father died, he borrowed clothes for the funeral and buried his father with the only loincloth. Since he had no clothes, he fished at night and during the day, he stayed in the water when selling his fish in order to conceal his nakedness.
Then one day, the princess approached his riverbank and decided it was so pretty that she wanted to bathe there. He dug a hole in the sand and attempted to hide behind some cattails, whereupon he was discovered by Princess Tien Dung. I guess she liked what she saw, decided fate had sent this man to her, and married him there and then. The long addendum to the story includes her being disinherited by the king, him becoming a Taoist monk and then a saint, a magical palace made of jewels that was whisked up to the heavens, and a temple built in its place to honor their love.
A boat cruise, a temple, a love story, and lunch was included! I don't remember what else was served, and honestly, the dish wasn't even that memorable, but the fantastic love story and the idea of braised fish with tomato dill sauce stayed with me.
If you like Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua (Vietnamese Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce), then this dish will be familiar. I used salmon, since it's often paired with dill in Western dishes. I pan-fried the salmon steak first so it would hold its shape better in a quick braise. A few tomatoes, shallots, garlic, dill, and fish sauce gets simmered until it thickens. The dill is cooked with the sauce; not tossed as a garnish at the end.
I can't promise that fate will throw true love your way if you make this dish, but hopefully my little anecdote amused you enough to try making it?