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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tamarind fish soup (Canh chua ca)- A quintessential Vietnamese sour fish soup

I can't begin to tell you how much I love this sour fish soup- It's so incredibly delicious. Beautifully moist and tender fish cooked on the bone, in a tamarind stock. Along with a selection of the freshest vegetables, including okra- which is my favourite, tomatoes, pineapples and uniquely to this soup 'bac ha' (stems of a taro plant, often referred as elephant stem). The porous structure of the stem is perfect to absorb up all that beautiful tamarind fish broth.

This is commonly serve along with Ca kho (caramelised braised fish). It's a phenomenal combination, the sweet and sour from the fish soup. Coupled with the sweet and salty from the braised fish is so ridiculously good with steaming hot rice. This soup is remarkably simple to whip up, I frequently cook this when I'm pressed for time but still want something that is comforting, satisfying and always a joy to eat.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grilled cockles with shallot oil (So long nuong mo hanh). A delectable local delight

During my many visits to Vietnam, one of my favourite place to visit is 'Quan oc', literal translation- snail shops. Where they serve up the most lip-smackingly delicious grilled cockles and sea scollops with shallot oil.

Scattered through out Vietnam, these snail joints offer an extraordinary variety of delectable snails, mollucs and crustaceans. While, what may seem like a strange snack food for most foreign visitors. These delectable delicacies are extremely  popular with locals.


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