The simple pleasures

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 Bún nưá»›c kèn (rice vermicelli and curried fish soup) is one of the most popular dishes in the Mekong Delta

Coming to Mekong Delta in the south in Vietnam, visitors will recognize the river region's culture deepened into every breath of locals, who are humble and honest.

The cuisine is also as humble as the locals.

If you are a fan of vermicelli soup and want to taste something different from traditional vermicelli soup, Mekong Delta is a special place to taste the dish.

Travelers enjoying the rivers, canals, tiny boats, peaceful country towns, green coconut trees and cool breezes may not even think of the traditional Vietnamese dishes the country inspires.

The place is home to delicious kinds of seafood such as fish and prawn and it is famous for many kinds of delicacies including salted fish, dried fish and vermicelli soup with fish.

Among numerous kinds of vermicelli soup with fish, bún nưá»›c kèn (rice vermicelli and curried fish soup) is the most popular with visitors and locals.

Known as specialty in Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province or in the Mekong Delta, the soup smells fragrant and is a favorite for those who grew up here and it is a must have experience for travelers visiting the river area.

Making rice vermicelli and curried fish soup

As usual, ones often prepare traditional vermicelli soup by boiling pork bone, beef, fish or other ingredients.

But, bún nưá»›c kèn is different and more special than the traditional ones because it tastes sweet from fish and rich from the coconut milk.

In addition, the coconut milk and curry powder overcomes any unwanted fish smell and gives the soup a pleasant aroma.

To make the dish, cooks often use freshwater snakehead fish to prepare the soup because its meat is firm and has a less pungent aroma.

First of all, clean the fish and drop it into a pot of boiling water until it is done. Take the fish out and let it cool. Keep the fish broth to prepare the soup. Next peel its skin, remove its bones and split it into pieces.

Then, stir-fry garlic and onion until lightly browned. Add some condiments including curry powder, clove, cinnamon and the fish meat, and stir-fry until fragrant.

Then add some coconut milk and some chilli powder to turn the soup red, or add some turmeric powder to make the soup golden. Warm over a slow heat to bring out the flavors. If available, add kroeung, a spice of Khmer people, for extra taste.

Prepare the bowl with a salad arrangement, shredded banana flower, split water spinach, cucumber, bean sprouts and basil. Place in the rice vermicelli and pour the hot soup on top.

To retain the sweet taste of the fish use a mixture of salt, pepper and lemon juice to dip the fish meat into, instead of fish sauce.

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