How does eel make you feel?

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Rural dishes made with eel are some of the most healthy Vietnamese cuisine has to offer


Eel is delicious and easy to prepare and many eel delicacies are eaten regularly at home and in restaurants

In Nghe An Province, Ho Chi Minh's birthplace, eel porridge has been a popular specialty for years.

Delicacies made with eel from this province and localities all along the north-central coast have spread throughout the country over the last few decades.

Eel in Nghe An Province is often caught in flooded fields. The freshwater eel is small, long, fatty, glossy and yellow in color. The wild eel is highly prized over those raised in captivity.

Eel is not only a rural ingredient used for taste, it's also a valuable source of protein, Vitamin A and minerals that help to treat diseases related to malnutrition, rheumatism and backaches and pains.

Eel can be prepared into delicacies or it can be found in daily meals. Eel is delicious and easy to prepare and many eel delicacies are eaten regularly at home and in restaurants.

One popular way to prepare an eel is to cut it into medium pieces and marinate them with lemon grass, chili and curry powder. Then, put them over heat, stir-fry them, and add some onion and pepper.

Or, the eel can be prepared by chopping its flesh finely. Then, marinate the meat in some condiments and lemon grass and stir-fry until it is done. The dish is served on a plate with spearmint and roasted peanuts. The dish is also served with rice paper. Anyone who likes beer or wine will enjoy the taste of rice paper mixed with the salty-fatty taste of stir-fried eel.

Customers in HCMC can enjoy eel delicacies at the following addresses:

QUAN BAU
66/7 Pham Ngoc Thach Street, District 3
Tel: (08) 3 820 5210

THUAN VIET RESTAURANT
54/17E Bach Dang Street,
Ward 2, Tan Binh District
Tel: (08) 3 848 6382

Eel porridge is also very popular. A bowl of hot eel porridge can warm any cold heart during the rainy months.

It is not difficult to prepare a warm bowl of the porridge. First, boil a whole eel and then let it cool before removing its flesh from the bones. Marinate the meat with some condiments, stir-fry it quickly with oil, chopped onion and garlic, and then pour in some water the eel was boiled in and simmer.

Pour the mixture into a pot of porridge with black beans. After a few minutes of continuous stirring, sprinkle on some pepper for a pot of smoky and flavorful porridge. The eel tastes a little tough and fragrant. The porridge tastes sweet and fatty. The spice from the pepper and flavor from the herbs mixes along with the sourness of the lemon. It's a first bite you'll never forget.

Apart from eel porridge, a cook can turn out braised eel with rice patty herb, roasted eel with salt and lemon grass, steamed eel with laksa leaf, noodle soup with eel, and braised eel with lemon grass and chili.

If you'd like to try eel, in Ho Chi Minh City, then come to Quan Bau.

The cooking secrets at Quan Bau come straight from Nghe An.

Quan Bau's special eel hot pot is made with passion fruit and is served up with pickled mustard greens, tofu and vegetables.

In the restaurant, customers often order an appetizer of banana blossom salad with eel. The eel in this dish is cut into pieces and fried until golden. Banana flower is mixed with condiments. The dish is served up with shrimp crackers and sweet-and-sour fish sauce.

Quan Bau's grilled eel with chili salt is also a popular favorite.

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