Sashimi-like salad - Thanh Hoa's specialtie

This is a dish made from catfish, very special and attractive because of its sweet and strange taste in the Nga Son region, but has gradually become a famous delicacy, an indispensable culinary specialty when visiting Nga Son. back to Thanh.

Sashimi-like salad offered in Thanh Hoa

Nga Son District in Thanh Hoa Province in the north has a popular raw fish salad whose main ingredient is ca nhech, or nhech fish (pisodonophis boro).

Nhech fish (pisodonophis boro) is a local eel-like fish, which lives in paddy fields, is very elusive and thus hard to catch.

The fish’s excellent flesh is the main ingredient used for many dishes. Arguably the most common amongst them is ca nhech salad. The best version of the specialty can be found in Nga Son District, Thanh Hoa Province.

According to local cooks, aside from the flesh of the eel-like fish, a special sauce whose recipe is a secret and a variety of herbs are the soul of their specialty.

To start with, a cook must get rid ot the fish’s stink. Then, the flesh is cut into fillets that will be next wrapped in thính (ground roasted rice) which also helps remove the remaining stinky smell. That’s all for the flesh.

The reason why the bad smell of the fish must be got out carefully is the fillets covered with roasted rice are to be eaten raw, just like the way Japan’s sashimi is.

The salad cannot be done without its special sauce. This sauce, called chẻo in the local dialect, is in fact a mixture of ground nhech fish bones, ginger, chili, pepper and lemongrass.

The herbs served with the salad include mo leaves (Paederia foetida), fig leaves, dinh lang leaves (Polycias fruticosa), cuc tan (Pluchea indica), rau ngo (Limnophila aromatic), and other seasonal plans.

Diners often choose the biggest leaves among the herbs to wrap the sliced fillets. Add sauce to the roll and you will have everything ready./.

Kim Oanh