‘Thac lac’ fish, a specialty and pride of Hau Giang

The dish is the pride of Hau Giang people, according to Huynh Thi Phuong, 66, who has sold the fish for several decades.”I sell several hundreds of cha ca thac lac a day to locals and visitors, including foreigners,” said Phuong.She said that to make a good dish, she often woke up early in the morning to go to the seashore to buy fresh fish – meaning the meat is firm, the eyes look pure and green while the gills are light red. “Fish with red eyes, and soft meat is not suitable for making cha,” said Phuong.The fish can be made into soup with bitter gourd, steamed, braised, fried and used in hotpots. Phuong said cha ca thac lac was available in restaurants and at luxury parties. It was also a good gift for relatives and friends.Hanoian Bui Thu Nga said that she was happy to join Phuong make the dish by cutting off all the lean meat and then mixing it with dried onions, garlic, peppers, MSG, sugar and salt to clear out any fishy smell for an hour. It is then placed in a stone grinder and regularly pounded until the meat is thick and pink-while before shaping it into small balls and frying them until they turn yellow.“The dish should be eaten with rau ngo (coriander) and mui tau (sawtooth) to add taste,” said Phuong.Apart from cha ca, she also invited Nga to enjoy thac lac fish hotpot with bitter gourd. “It is a great dish that you should try,” she added.Ingredients include broth stewed from pork bones,… [Read full story]


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