JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Home-cooked Vietnamese ponyfish soup brings back memories with mom

Thursday, March 23, 2023, 17:30 GMT+7
Home-cooked Vietnamese ponyfish soup brings back memories with mom
A bowl of ponyfish soup cooked with starfruit, chili, and green onions. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

My memories of the good old days come flooding back every time I try cooking canh chua (Vietnamese sweet and sour soup) with ponyfish, one of my late mother’s home-cooked recipes that are just irresistible.

An Bang fishing village, located in Cam An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam, is my hometown that boasts a host of traditional dishes of the central region. 

Visitors to coastal villages in my hometown should not miss trying freshly made seafood dishes, like grouper, barracuda, and especially ponyfish.

Ponyfish are offered for sale at affordable prices at a rural wet market. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

Ponyfish are offered for sale at affordable prices at a wet market in Vietnam. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

The ponyfish, which is small-sized, has more bones than meat yet its sweet, buttery, and strong taste is favored by lots of seafood lovers including me.

Elderly fishermen said that the ponyfish season starts from the ninth lunar month till early spring.

The fish, mainly found inhabiting the Cham island area, comes in various types and can be made into a wide range of tempting dishes that really give us a taste of home, such as sweet and sour ponyfish soup, as well as braised, fried or grilled ponyfish.

My mother used to say that each type of ponyfish had its own taste and the sweet and sour ponyfish soup was the best recipe for the fish.

A bowl of sweet and sour ponyfish soup with tomatoes. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

A bowl of sweet and sour ponyfish soup with tomatoes. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

For small-sized and bony ponyfish, we could also mince and form it into yummy fish balls, then fry it till golden brown before cooking the ponyfish soup with spices, tomato, pineapple, starfruit or loads of tamarind leaves. 

Ponyfish soup cooked with tamarind leaves is a signature soup in my hometown as its ingredients are easily found. This dish is best served hot with chili fish sauce.

A plate features fresh ponyfish, tamarind leaves and chili. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

A plate features fresh ponyfish, tamarind leaves and chili. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

However, the ponyfish soup cooked with pineapple and tomato was the best match, my mother said.

Main ingredients for cooking sweet and sour ponyfish soup with tomatoes. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

Main ingredients for cooking sweet and sour ponyfish soup with tomatoes. Photo: Hoa Vang / Tuoi Tre

Braised ponyfish is mouthwatering, too. To make the dish, my mother first cleaned the fish, marinated it in a sugar, fish sauce, pepper sauce for a while. 

Then, she braised the fish on low heat until the sauce condensed.

Grilled ponyfish served with chili garlic fish sauce and loads of fresh veggies really goes well with rice as well.

Whenever reminiscing about the good times with my late mother and her best home cooked food, I always feel a bit regretful, wishing my youth during which my mother was still with me could last forever. 

When I got a bit older, I tried cooking the sweet and sour ponynish soup following my mother’s recipe multiple times, but mine never tastes as delicious as hers.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Hoa Vang Minh Duy / Tuoi Tre News

READ MORE

Read more

Photo

Video

Check out stunning Du Gia Waterfall in Ha Giang, northern Vietnam

From morning through late afternoon, crowds of tourists flock to Du Gia Waterfall to enjoy its scenic beauty and refreshing waters. Nestled amidst the mountains and forests of Tien Village in Du Gia Commune, Yen Minh District, Ha Giang Province, northern Vietnam, Du Gia Waterfall is often likened to a slumbering fairy.

Foreigners cook Vietnamese meals for needy locals

A group of foreign tourists recently visited the Social Protection Center of Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam. They were touched by the care and attention given to the center’s senior citizens.

Crafting homes in Vietnam’s Hoi An

The traditional bamboo houses and nipa palm roofing in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam have an elusive origin. However, residents of the Thu Bon estuary have been living under nipa palm roofs for centuries.