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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Nha Trang’s vermicelli soup for the soul

By Quynh Han

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The central coastal city of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province is well-known for its wide range of seafood specialties. Of them, the flavorsome fish paste vermicelli soup is a favorite among foodies.

The specialty from Nha Trang is a perfect combination of fish paste, slices of mackerel and fresh herbs. Although the dish is relatively easy to prepare, it involves a lot of ingredients.

The fish paste made by the Nha Trang people is often heavy on spices, resulting in a unique taste. Mackerel, flying fish or knifefish is commonly used to make the fish paste for the soup, while jellyfish with a crunchy and crispy texture is then added.

The broth is made by boiling pork bones and fish for several hours, resulting in a distinct sweetness. The soup is accompanied by a plate of fresh herbs, some water spinach, banana flowers and bean sprouts to elevate its flavor.

However, the dish is not complete without the dipping sauce, a mixture of fish sauce, minced garlic and chili. Together, they’re a match made in heaven.

It is often said that no trip to Nha Trang is complete without enjoying a hearty bowl of fish paste vermicelli soup. And few would dare to argue.

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