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Friday, July 19, 2024

Nieng fish – A renowned specialty of Quang Nam

By Dang Khoa

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Once considered a humble ingredient in the meals of ethnic communities, nieng fish has gained popularity as a delectable delicacy and has secured a place on the menus of numerous eateries and restaurants in Quang Nam.

Nieng fish, scientifically known as onychostoma gerlachi, is a source of pride for the locals of Tra My Forest in Quang Nam Province. These fish naturally thrive in rivers and streams across the mountainous districts. With their elongated silver-white bodies and a light blue hue on their backs, nieng fish make their presence known in abundance during the summer season. However, catching them is no easy feat as they swiftly swim upstream.

Notably, nieng fish possess firm flesh that not only lacks a fishy taste but also offers a delightful sweetness. Packed with nutrients, they serve as a key ingredient in various mouthwatering dishes. Moreover, nieng fish feed on moss and algae clinging to rocks, ensuring the cleanliness of their internal organs. As a result, the bile and intestines of nieng fish are sought after for their potential medicinal uses.

In Quang Nam, locals prefer to boil nieng fish to preserve the natural sweetness of the flesh. Diners can enjoy rolling the fish with fresh vegetables, adding a few slices of star fruit, and dipping it in fish sauce, creating a truly satisfying combination. Furthermore, nieng fish can be grilled over embers or shredded into small pieces and mixed with banana blossom and vegetables. In family meals, they are commonly used in soups, braised dishes, or deep-fried preparations.

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