Being crispy outside but tender inside, smelling, pretty delicious and healthy is highlight of Deep-fried Elephant-ear Fish (Ca Tai Tuong Chien Xu) – a specialty food of Mekong Delta. Giant gourami is a kind of freshwater fish weighing 0.5-1.5 kg. In Vietnam, they live in ponds and swamps and are called Elephant-ear fish because it looks like an elephant’s ear. The interesting thing of Deep-fried Elephant-ear Fish is that the cook doesn’t remove the fish scales and fins. The cook must be patient, skillful and experienced enough to fry whole fish in a big pan at high temperature. Oil should cover the fish and be hot enough to make sure the fish scales and fins still remains and become crispy.
Delicious Deep-fried Elephant-ear Fish
Deep-fried Elephant-ear Fish must be served hot using a special wooden tool which you can see on below photo. It is usually eaten with steamed rice, vegetables, herbs and sweet, sour and hot fish sauce dip. Instead of steamed rice, it can be eaten with rice paper and rice noodles. Just use rice paper to wrap a piece of crispy fish, salad, cucumber, herbs, star fruit slices, green banana slices, rice noodles into a medium roll. Then dip the roll into fish sauce dip and tuck in. Some prefer dipping this food with “Mắm nêm” – a sauce made of fermented fish. Some cooks make tomato sauce or pineapple sauce to pour on the fish and top it with crushed peanuts.
Mekong Delta is full of rivers, channels, ponds, swamps and lakes with lots of fishes, elephant-ear fish is easy to catch there. Do not miss trying Deep-fried Elephant-ear Fish on your trip to this peaceful and beautiful region. There you will have chance to enjoy a flavorful dish from freshest vegetables, herbs and fish as well as savory rice noodles, fish sauce, “Mắm nêm” made by locals.
The fried fish is usually served with steamed rice, vegetables, herbs and sweet, sour and hot fish sauce dip
To eat, just wrap fish, rice noodles, vegetables and herbs in rice paper and dip into tasty sauce from fish sauce or Mam nem
Foreign tourists are excited at tasting Ca Tai Tuong Chien Xu
How are you feeling? I am sure, you want to try it 🙂 Please go to Mekong Delta to feel like local people.