Grilled trich (Sardinella) fish over hot charcoal is a specialty of Nghe An Province, boasting of a special flavor that is hard to find elsewhere
Fishermen in Cua Lo Beach in Cua Lo Commune, Nghe An Province, said they often start their fishing trip early morning. During the three- or four-day fishing trip, they can collect 10 to 15 tons of trich (Sardinella) fishes. These are then delivered to neighboring provinces and cities.
The best trich fishes are caught in the Cua Lo sea area, where the Lam and the Cam rivers meet. Trich fish is long and thin with blue skin. Its body is covered with small scales and its belly has striped markings.
This kind of fish is a main ingredient of many local dishes in Nghe An. However, the most popular one is the grilled trich fish.
After being cleaned, gutted and its scales removed, the fish is grilled over charcoal. It is flipped repeatedly to cook it perfectly.
Grilled trich fishes are often served with herbs, rice vermicelli and rice papers. Additionally, a dipping sauce that is a mixture of fish sauce, some drops of lemon juice, minced garlic and chili is indispensable.
When enjoying the specialty, diners can taste the fat of the grilled fish and smell the charcoal, which gives the grilled trich fish its unique flavor.
The dish can be found in local markets and small eateries around Con Temple in the province’s Hoang Mai Commune during the festive season.