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The apricot fish salad has not been tried yet but has not been to Phan Thiet

BINH THUAN – Fish fillet combined with raw vegetables and herbs, especially the dipping sauce from ear fish and tamarind… is a characteristic of apricot fish salad.

Phan Thiet is one of the destinations for tourists who love to learn and discover the local cuisine. The rich source of aquatic products and seafood and the cultural mix between the Vietnamese and the Cham people contribute to the uniqueness of the cuisine in this locality. One of them is apricot fish, which is processed into many delicious dishes, attracting both locals and tourists.

The apricot fish salad has not been tried yet but has not been to Phan Thiet
Mai roll salad with lettuce, herbs and tamarind sauce. Photo: Ha Lam

The apricot fish is shaped like an anchovy, as small as two fingers, transparent body, silver scales. Fresh fish meat is tough, crispy, sweet, and without blood, so it is not fishy, ​​especially suitable for processing salads.

According to the people of Phan Thiet, it is not easy to make delicious fish salad because this dish has a rather sophisticated way of processing, requiring meticulousness and ingenuity at many stages.

First, the apricot fish used to make salad must be really fresh, freshly caught, so the size is the same. The fish is then scaled, boned, and sliced. This step needs to be done lightly and decisively, otherwise, the fish meat will be crushed, reducing the sweetness and crunchiness.

Next, the chef will squeeze the fish together with vinegar or lemon to ripen and be seasoned with more spices to taste with shredded ginger (helps reduce the fishy taste in the fish and help warm the stomach). When the fish is soaked in spices, it will be mixed with the salad dressing. This sauce is prepared according to the recipe of many spices such as garlic, chili, lemon, sugar, and fish sauce. Then, mix the fish with the sauce, basil, laksa leaves, cilantro, scallions, onions, chili, roasted peanuts, roasted sesame, fried onions… for flavor.

Apricot fish mixed with ingredients and sauces. Photo: Ha Lam

Another impressive point that makes Mai fish salad so popular is the dipping sauce, which includes sour tamarind, granulated sugar, ripe bananas, garlic, chili, ear fish sauce, roasted sesame, and ground peanuts. All create a mixture of yellow-orange sauce, viscous, sweet, sour, spicy, aromatic, fatty, and flavorful.

Phan Thiet people enjoy apricot fish salad in two ways. One of them is salad with toasted sesame rice paper or deep-fried shrimp puff pastry. Break a piece of grilled rice paper or use shrimp cake to scoop a piece of fish salad, dip it in salad dressing and enjoy. The crispy aroma of sesame rice paper or shrimp puff pastry will make the dish more appetizing.

The second way to eat will be using a piece of fish salad with salad, herbs, and dipping sauce, helping the eater to fully feel the fresh taste of the fish salad and accompanying herbs and vegetables.

Rice paper rolls with vegetables and apricot fish salad are a favorite way of eating. Photo: Ha Lam

The fresh, crunchy and sweet apricot fish meat combines with a thick and sour sauce of tamarind, peanut butter… for diners an unforgettable culinary experience.

Some addresses selling apricot fish salad in Phan Thiet for your reference: number 19, Huynh Thuc Khang street, Ham Tien ward; 2 – 4 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Phu Hai ward; 17 – 19 Pham Van Dong street…

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