A very popular and common dish found in every household in the central coastal regions of Vietnam is a sour soup made of chuon fish (flying fish) and giang leaves.
|Chuon fish and Giang leaves (Photo: Thanh Nien)|
Giang is a variety of creeper found growing abundantly amidst wild shrubbery.
Giang leaves can be used in cooking varieties of sour soups with seafood or chicken whilst flying fish can be braised, fried or grilled. The combination of giang leaves and chuon fish is very popular and makes for an unforgettable home flavored specialty soup.
This soup is popular in rural areas as giang leaves grow wild and easy to pick fresh and chuon fish is readily available and cheap in markets. It also is so simple to make.
Chuon fish scales are first scraped off, its innards and gills removed and fins cut off. The fish is sliced into two or three portions then cooked in a pot of boiling hot water. When the fish is cooked soft, a clump of giang leaves and a little broken rice are added. The soup is then seasoned with unrefined salt and sodium glutamate to taste. Before removing the pot from the fire some ground chili is added.
Giang leaves and chuon fish sour soup is very appetizing, having a subtle sour and acrid taste of the giang leaves, the sweetness of broken rice and the spicy hot of the chilies.
The flavor is distinctly the homeland flavor of the central coastal region.