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Banh canh cha ca thu - the taste of Phu Quoc

By Kieu Giang in HCMC
Monday,  Feb 27,2012,20:54 (GMT+7)
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By Kieu Giang in HCMC

Banh canh cha ca thu (fried codfi sh paste served with white rice noodle soup), a specialty of Phu Quoc Island - Photo: Kieu Giang
Those who have visited Phu Quoc without savoring the island’s specialty of banh canh cha ca thu (fried codfish paste served with white rice noodle soup) have made a huge blunder which they will have to come back and rectify.

  There are many places serving this dish but none as delicious as a street food shop named Phung in Quarter 2 in Duong Dong Town.

  After ordering the meal, customers need to wait a few minutes to savor the smoke rising from the bowl with its delicious smell. On the surface of the bowl are large slices of white codfish and fried fish paste in such an appetizing yellow color mingled with the green spring onion and yellow fried onion.

  It is recommended not to put bean sprouts into the food like most Vietnamese people usually do because it will damage the authentic taste of this cuisine. After that you should prepare a small bowl of fish sauce with chili to dip in the fish before you eat it, you could also put more fish sauce into the soup.

  The highlights of this dish is the fish soup which was made from the codfish’s head and bones and the chewy and sweet-tasting rice noodles which were created from scratch.

  To make these rice noodles you can use manioc for flour and knead a specific amount of flour with hot water. Then flatten it into some thin pieces and cut into slices which are later stirred together with hot water. The key is to make the noodles only half done so that you have a reasonably chewy taste with natural sweet flavor. 

  You should note banh canh cha ca thu and the food shop named Phung in your notebook for your next trip to Phu Quoc. The specific ocean taste of this beautiful island appears to be contained in this cuisine.

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