Bombay Duck Fish Hotpot – A Taste of Quang Binh

We would like to introduce a Quang Binh's delicacy - the Bombay Duck Fish Hotpot (Lau ca khoai)

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Bombay Duck Fish Hotpot - A Taste of Quang Binh
Photo: Say Hello Vietnam

Bombay duck fish hotpot consists of fresh fish and a spicy and sour broth. Bombay duck fish must be fresh, thick meat, cleaned, and then thoroughly marinated with spices. The broth is cooked from star fruit, sour bamboo shoots, pineapple, green bananas and seasoned to taste. Put the fish in each of them so that it is not crushed and retains its natural sweetness.

Bombay Duck Fish Hotpot - A Taste of Quang Binh
Chef Pham Tuan Hai, a jury of the former Vietnam Master Chef, said he also likes the Bombay duck fish hotpot so much. Photo: Bao Ve Moi Truong

This signature dish has gotten popular in the Northern Vietnam, restaurants and home-cooks in Hanoi city also serve bombay duck fish hotpot, but with their own recipes.

One of the most important steps for the dish to be a success is choosing a fish which is fresh with a thick body. Quang Binh locals usually wake up early in the morning to the beach to wait for fishermen to return from the high sea to buy the freshest fish sized from 15-18cm.”

After being washed clean, each fish is cut into two parts, then soaked with spices such as salt, pepper, chilli and cu nen (a kind of small onion, locally known as “Hanh tam”, available in the central region) which is cut into pieces, for half an hour before cooking.

Bombay Duck Fish Hotpot - A Taste of Quang Binh
Photo: San Vat Phuong Nam

Hanh tam has its own flavor that it helps the dish have a special taste compared with other onions in the north.

Cooking Bombay duck fish hopot is quite simple, first cutting the fish into third or four parts (depends on the shape of fish). Spices to marinate fish are very simple, including salt, pepper or chili, especially chives can enhance the flavor. Then, you can cut the fish into third or four parts (depends on the shape of fish).

After preparing the fish, you have to prepare materials for hot pot such as tomatoes, star fruits, mushrooms, tamarind and pickles. Next, cut the bamboo shoots and put all of them into the hot pot. Wait in some minutes and you can add tomatoes, star fruits, mushrooms, tamarind and pickles.

The ingredients for the hotpot’s broth include pork bones, which should be stewed for one hour before putting tomato, tamarind, sour starfruit, pickled mustard greens, sour bamboo and mushroom in.

The dish pairs well with fish sauce. The delicious of this fish’s meat is perfect, so cooking it as simple as best. Be careful not to let the fish to be well cooked.

You only add the fish in when the water is boiled. Once it is cooked you need to take the fish out on a plate and enjoy when it is still hot. Served with fresh herbs available at the local gardens, you will fill up your stomach in no time.

Bombay Duck Fish Hotpot - A Taste of Quang Binh
Youtube KHam Pha Am Thuc

Lau ca khoai is very good for people with headaches and dizziness, as well as high blood pressure and hacking cough. It is a perfect hangover cure, with savvy and fresh taste combined, ready for you to enjoy by the riverside.

Apart from hotpot, the fish can be cooked other dishes such as canh ca khoai rau can (soup with water dropwort), chao ca khoai (porridge) and canh chua ca khoai (sour soup).

Quang Binh Province is severely hot in the summer so local people often cook this special dish to cool down and treat ailments such as sore throat, cold and constipation. The Bombay Duck Fish Hotpot really helps weak patients, the elderly, and children with malnutrition.

Zoey Nguyễn