Hot pot with Fermented fish (Lau mam) is an authentic dish in Mekong Delta. It characterizes the rich cuisine as well as the unique culture of the region. All of the ingredients (meat, shrimp, fish, various vegetables) to cook Lau mam are easy to find in gardens, fields, rivers, channels, and ponds. According to many foodies, Can Tho Hot pot with Fermented fish has the best taste.
The cook in Can Tho chooses delicious Fermented fish made in Chau Doc province which is considered as the kingdom of Fermented fish. It needs at least 3 types of Fermented fishes (Mam) to cook Lau mam. Fermented fish from snakeskin gourami is used to make the dish smell uniquely, Fermented fish from sheatfish is used to add a sweet taste and typical color, Fermented fish from siamese mud carp is used to make the dish greasy. The broth is the soul of any Hot pot dish. The broth of Lau mam must be rich, not too salty, brown, clear, a little-thickened thanks to minced garlic, lemongrass and chili pepper. After cooking the broth from all types of Fermented fishes and spices, the cook removes fish bones by a filter, then add coconut water which makes the dish sweet and fragrant.
Eggplant, pork belly, snakehead, pangasius conchophilus, shrimp, squid, fish cake, various vegetables are served with the Hot pot so that dinner can cook them at the table. Some vegetables such as water lily stem, yellow velvetleaf, pumpkin flower, greens, winged bean, sesbania grandiflora flower which are served to eat with the broth are popular in Mekong Delta but hard to find in other regions. These vegetables make the dish different from other kinds of Hot pot. When eating, dinner dip cooked meat, shrimp, vegetables into fish sauce or fish sauce dip made from fish sauce, tamarind, sugar, chili pepper.
Visiting Can Tho, tourists will be served Lau mam with a pot of boiling broth, fresh meat, fishes, seafood and a basket full of fresh vegetables. Do not be freaked by the name of the dish which contains the word “fermented”, the dish does not have any odor but a very nice smell.
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