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Sunday, June 16, 2024

A specialty from Mekong Delta

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“Suong” noodle soup is served with shrimp paste, pork hocks and herbs. The specialty from the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh is made with a secret recipe broth that will indulge your taste buds.

“Suong” or “Duong” noodle soup is named after the shape of noodles that looks like a kind of worm found in coconut trunks.

Tamarind and soybean sauces are the two ingredients that make the sour and sweet broth unique and have an eye-catching brown color. Shrimp paste is the main ingredient of the dish. A cook has to select the freshest shrimps whose shells are removed after being cleaned. Shrimp flesh is then pounded to bring out its chewy texture. To save time, a food preparer should use a machine to grind the flesh that is pounded by hands later. Minced onions and garlics will be added to enhance the flavor of the substance that is tinted with brown red color from annatto oil. Pieces of the shrimp paste are cooked in the broth until they float on the top.

The appeal of the dish is the broth which is a harmony of different flavors. The thick soup consists of pork hocks cooked until tender and pieces of shrimp paste. The special sweetness and pleasant smell of the soup come from tamarind and soybean sauces. In addition, the cook will add some annatto oil to harmonize colors of ingredients and make the dish look more attractive.

A bowl of suong noodle soup should be served with herbs, bean sprouts and minced chilies.

By Anh Quynh

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