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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Quang Nam’s delightful specialty evokes nostalgic childhood memories

By Tien Sa

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Ram fish (Puntius brevis) holds a special place in the lives of Quang Nam residents during the rainy season. While this fish can be transformed into various delectable dishes, the most exceptional of all is the braised ram fish with a touch of turmeric and freshly picked ginger leaves.

This fish, known for its modest size, congregates near the shore’s small bays after the rains, returning to the streams and rivers. It is during this time that the community comes together to catch these fish. You can find ram fish being sold at markets such as Ai Nghia, Dai Hiep, Quang Hue, and Dai Cuong, priced at nearly VND200,000 per kilogram.

The preparation begins with a thorough cleaning of the fish, followed by marination with turmeric powder, finely minced purple onions, assorted spices, and a touch of peanut oil. Fresh turmeric and ginger leaves are meticulously washed, their stems removed, and then finely chopped.

The marinated fish are gently braised in a clay pot over low heat. As the fish nears perfection, the chef adds the chopped turmeric and ginger leaves to the pot, sprinkling a touch of pepper on the fish’s surface. The dish is allowed to simmer until the fish reaches an ideal firmness. Each piece of ram fish becomes a harmonious blend of flavors, with the aromatic turmeric and ginger leaves complementing the spiciness of chili and pepper, resulting in a distinctive taste.

Savoring ram fish braised with turmeric and fresh ginger leaves alongside a steaming bowl of rice on chilly, rainy days brings forth a unique rural specialty that invokes fond childhood memories among the people of Quang Nam.

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