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Ho Chi Minh City
Saturday, February 4, 2023

Enjoying Danang’s rustic dish on cold days

By Nhat Minh

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Steamed mackerel scad (nuc fish) wrapped in rice paper with its simple and rustic flavor is a hit with diners right from the first bite.

Diners can enjoy the steamed mackerel scad (nuc fish) wrapped in rice paper all year round. Nuc fish are cheap, easy to find, and usually chosen due to their high nutrition levels. According to locals, cooks should choose thumbnail-sized nuc fish to maintain the fresh and sweet taste of the dish.

After being cleaned, the fish is marinated with garlic, onions, black pepper, salt, seasoning powder, and minced chili. Then, it is steamed in a hot pot to retain the fresh taste and sweetness of the mackerel scad. The heat helps blend the liquid from the fish flesh with the spices, creating a combination of the salty taste of the sea, the spicy taste of chili and pepper, and the sweet taste of the fish.

An indispensable component of the dish is a bowl of fish sauce. When steamed with fish sauce, lemon, garlic, and minced chilis are added to the fish liquid to create a bowl of dipping sauce with a characteristic aroma.

On rice paper, a layer of accompanying vegetables is placed. A small piece of fatty and soft nuc fish flesh is placed on top of the vegetables. Then, the rice paper is rolled, dipped in fish sauce, and eaten. The harmonious combination undoubtedly satisfies any diner from the first bite.

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