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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Linh fish – The specialty of Mekong Delta’s flooding season

By Nguyen Hoai

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Thanks to its high nutritional value, locals in southwestern Vietnam use linh fish to prepare many appetizing dishes that captivate diners from the first bite.

Linh fish, scientifically known as Henicorhynchus, is most commonly found during the flooding season in Mekong Delta provinces (from August to November every year). It is tiny, measuring only as big as the top of a chopstick. However, as the flooding season draws to a close, the linh fish caught tends to be bigger, reaching the size of two fingers of a small child.

The fish has few bones and possesses a sweet, greasy taste, allowing diners to enjoy the whole fish. The cook simply needs to cut a small piece from the fish’s body to remove its intestines, trim the tail, and then proceed with the preparation. The younger the fish, the more tender and greasier its flesh becomes.

Linh fish is like a gift bestowed by Mother Nature upon the Mekong Delta region. Visitors who have the opportunity to explore this area during the flooding season should not miss the chance to savor some delightful dishes made from linh fish. It can be deep-fried, grilled on embers, braised with sugar cane, pineapple, or Vietnamese fermented shrimp paste, or simply cooked with sesbania sesban flowers – another specialty of the flooding season. People also preserve linh fish by making fish paste and fish sauce.

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