Rice Vermicelli and Anabas Soup

Rice vermicelli and anabas soup is a favourite dish of many Vietnamese people.



The cooks are very finicky in the way this dish is prepared. First, they need to select greasy anabas fish and then gut and scale them. They must boil the fish and pick out bones carefully so the meat is not decomposed.  
Half of the fish meat is stir-fried with dried onion, salt and fish sauce and the remaining meat is fried until yellowish brown. The bones and head of the fish are simmered and then filtered to make the delicious and tasty broth. It needs crushed ginger and dried onion to reduce the fishy smell. When serving, add one or two kinds of fresh vegetables, such as water dropwort, green cabbage or Cai cuc (edible chrysanthemum) and dill that help create a distinctive taste for the dish.

– Field anabas; water dropwort, green cabbage, dill and green onion, dried onion, ginger, seasoning, fish sauce, cooking oil, garlic, red pepper and rice vermicelli.
– Scale, gut and clean the fish with salt to reduce the fishy smell.
– Boil the fish and pick out the bones carefully.
– Heat cooking oil in a pan and fry the crushed dried onion and then stir-fry half of the fish meat with a dash of salt and fish sauce. Fry the remaining fish meat until they become yellowish brown.
– Simmer the bones and head of the fish and then filter to make the broth. Add crushed ginger, dried onion, salt and fish sauce to suit your taste.
– Clean the green cabbage, water dropwort and dill and cut into 5cm pieces.
– Scald some rice vermicelli with boiling water and put into a large bowl. Add two kinds of fish meat, vegetables and sliced spring onion and then pour the broth over all.
– Serve hot with a little lemon juice or rice vinegar, pepper and red pepper.

Story: Ha Anh – Photo: Tra My