When visiting the Son Tra Peninsula, apart from savoring its picturesque landscapes, tourists are drawn to its delectable seafood cuisine. Among the many culinary delights, dia bong fish porridge stands out, captivating diners with its exquisite blend of flavors.
Dia bong fish, scientifically referred to as Siganus guttatus, are predominantly found along the central coastal region of Vietnam. These elusive creatures, often inhabiting rocky shores and coral reefs, possess significant commercial value and are most abundant from May to September.
These fish, roughly the size of an adult’s hand, boast sweet, firm flesh with minimal bones, making them versatile for various culinary preparations, including frying, steaming, grilling, and a standout favorite – dia bong fish porridge. This porridge is beloved for its harmonious combination of ingredients.
The preparation of dia bong fish porridge begins with the careful selection of fresh dia bong fish to impart that coveted sweetness to the dish. The fish is meticulously cleaned before being marinated with pepper, thinly sliced onions, fish sauce, and cooking oil for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to permeate the flesh evenly.
The cooking process requires close attention to achieve the desired consistency – a thick yet not overly so, with perfectly cooked rice grains. Finally, the marinated dia bong fish is added to the porridge pot and simmered for an additional five minutes.
Diners can savor a bowl of dia bong fish porridge garnished with chopped green onions and a sprinkle of chili powder atop the porridge. Some opt for a chili fish sauce drizzle to further elevate the dish’s flavors.