AsianCrave — A food blog


Fried fish with meatball soup by James Nguyen
April 14, 2009, 5:58 am
Filed under: Vietnamese Food | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

cuttlefish

cuttlefish

Fish Meatball Soup

Fish Meatball Soup

Noodles, rice paper, and asian mixed greens

Noodles, rice paper, and asian mixed greens

Fried fish with meatball soup @Nguyen’s household

One of the more common dishes at the nguyen household is fish.  For tonite’s dinner, we have Fried cuttlefish with roasted onions and peanuts, fish ball soup with lettuce, rice, and vermicelli noodles.  This particular fish however is oven cooked and roasted with peanuts.

This particular cuttlefish is cooked and served hot.  The onions and peanuts are not merely garnish but instead, provide a balancing flavor to the otherwise fish taste and are cooked with the fish.  Since very little sauce is served, the fish skin will brown out and dry–when done, the fish meat turns white inside.

This particular meatball soup is cooked with fish meatballs (found at most asian groceries) and a specific asian lettuce.  The asian lettuce flavor will mix with the meatball soup juices and give it a unique combination of flavor. Very little salt and asian fish sauce is used, as the desire is to retain as much of the two ingredients as possible–fish meatball and the asian lettuce.   Lastly, noodles, rice paper, and asian mixed greens including lettuce and mint leaves are added as supplements to the meal.

To Eat like the locals:

There are number of ways to eat this combination.  The Vietnamese way, is to use the rice paper, soak in water, and wrap up the fish meat, vermicelli noodle, mixed greens and eat as a spring roll!  Mmmm! Always a winning combination, but requires patience and some skill in making sure that the roll is wetted correctly, and rolled sufficiently so that the ingredients do not fall out of the roll–eating with your hands is a requirement here.  Use vietnamese fish sauce to dip.

If rolling rice paper isn’t your thing,Another way is to eat it traditionally with jasmine rice.  Since your fish is mostly dry, you will generally want to use a little fish sauce to give it flavor.  Soy sauce is a no-no as its a taste killer.

Verdict: (4 out of 5 stars)

If you consider yourself a fish connoisseur, then this combination will give you a nice light tasting pallete, with very little aftertaste.  No strong, sharp, or pungent flavors with the exception of the asian lettuce juices in the fish meatball soup.  Remember,  the emphasis here is on balance of taste and another traditional salute to the vietnamese pallete.  If you are looking for exotic representation of Vietnamese fare, then I’d suggest elsewhere.  Otherwise, this is a great representation of casual vietnamese home cooking.

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