Perhaps because Kien Giang is surrounded with both sea and paddy fields, Kien Giang fish vermicelli is a combination of two ingredients, snakehead fish from freshwater fields and shrimps of the salty sea. In this recipe, shrimps are peeled and stir fried with an egg until they turn yellow. Snakehead fish is boiled, peeled and stripped of its flesh. The broth is from fish bones and is mildly sweet. A bowl of fish vermicelli is shrimps and fish, covered with broth and sprinkled with spring onions. Raw bean sprouts or coriander is served on the side. The taste is refined and haunting. Guests from distant lands who have visited Rach Gia and Ha Tien, Phu Quoc will be reminded of their breakfast or pre-dinner snack – delicious Kien Giang fish vermicelli.
(For 10 servings)
- 1 snakehead fish 1 kg (preferably with eggs)
- 1 kg Pandalid shrimp
- 1 kg pork (preferably anklet) bones
- 1 duck egg
- 1 sugar cane bar, 50 cm long (briefly grilled)
- 5 kg fresh rice vermicelli
- 10 fried curry seeds as colouring agent
- 2 tbsp. oil
- Garlic and chopped spring onions
- 5 shallots (dried)
- 2 tbsp cilantro roots
- Vegetables served on the side: Coriander, raw bean sprouts, laksa leaves, sliced banana flowers.
- Fermented Chinese scallion
- Vinegar soaked chopped chili
- Spices: sugar, salt, seasoning, Phu Quoc fish sauce, ground white pepper, bird’s chili, spiceless chili.
- Wash snakehead fish, remove slime, wash head and intestines, rub with salt and remove all condensed blood on bones. Wash again, dry, cut into three pieces leaving the upper one connected to the intestines.
- Slightly sear shallots, wash again, grill sugar cane bar and cut into two.
- Steam pork bones in salted water, wash and leave to dry.
- Peel shrimps and apply some salt and sugar on backs to toughen meat.
- Put sugar cane bars in pot with three litres of boiling water. Add pork bones, a tablespoon of salt. Keep heat high, remove all bubbles, and switch to low.
- Place grilled shallots and cilantro roots in cloth bag, put in broth and simmer so that the broth turns sweeter. Add more water to the original amount.
- Wait until pork bones discharge a sweet taste, filter, add 30 g sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon seasoning.
- Cover fish with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of seasoning and 1 teaspoon of white pepper for 10 minutes. Boil fish and wait until it cools to remove its bones and skin. Crumble into pieces 3-4 cm thick and scatter in the bowl.
- Leave aside head and organs. Put fish bones in the broth.
- Finely grind fish eggs (if any) and scatter in the broth to colour the surface.
- In saucepan, add two tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of garlic and spring onions. Fry. Add shrimps on high heat, stir fry, then lower heat.
- Add curry seed colouring and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce to season and colour shrimps. Before serving, add a duck egg and swiftly stir so that the egg evenly covers all shrimps.
- Parboil 150g rice vermicelli per serving.
- Place fish, shrimps and chopped spring onions in a bowl.
- Pour broth into bowl. Serve with white pepper, vinegar soaked chili, fish sauce, grated fermented Chinese scallion and corianders.
- Roast shrimp peel until it turns red and add to the broth to season.
- Pandalid shrimp are red and chewy, not as sweet as white leg shrimp.
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