Visiting Mekong Delta, tourists have a big chance to enjoy lots of famous rice noodle soups including My Tho clear rice noodle soup, Ben Co Soup cake, Ca Mau rice noodle soup with fermented fish, etc. Ha Tien trumpet rice noodle soup (Bun ken) is an impressive recipe which attracts lots of local people and tourists with its great taste, sweet smell and nice-looking. In fact, there are some versions of trumpet rice noodle soup. This kind of soup can also be found in Chau Doc city in An Giang province, Phu Quoc island in Kien Giang province. However, Bun ken in Ha Tien is very special, different from the others.
Bun ken restaurants and stalls are everywhere in Ha Tien. According to local people, the rice noodle soup is a favorite dish of Khmer people in Ha Tien. Khmer people call dishes which are cooked from coconut milk “ken”, so that the name “Bun ken” comes from the word “ken” in Khmer language. In Vietnamese “ken” means trumpet. So that we call this dish Trumpet rice noodle soup in English.
The rice noodle soup is served as a meal, it consists of rice noodles, broth, dried shrimp as topping, vegetables and herbs, dipping sauce. Ha Tien trumpet rice noodle soup recipe is not easy. It needs many steps to cook the dish. The cook must be careful while preparing and cooking the broth.
The broth which is cooked from fishes is the soul of the dish. Ha Tien people choose sea water fishes such as Barracuda to cook the broth. Grind the fish flesh, stir-fry it with lemongrass, chili pepper, turmeric powder or turmeric juice. Then cook the stir-fried fish flesh in second and third extract coconut milk, seasoning the broth with spices (sugar, salt). While fish sauce is used to seasoning most of the broths for other Vietnamese rice noodle soups, the fish sauce must not be used to cook the broth for Bun ken. When the fish is well-done, turn off the heat, add first coconut milk and annatto oil. The greasy, sweet-tasty broth is ready to be served. The yellow color and special taste and smell of the broth come from turmeric. Annatto oil makes the broth more attractive. Coconut milk makes the dish greasy and sweet. What a perfect mix of all ingredients!
To serve, pour the hot broth into the bowl with some rice noodles, the broth must cover the noodles. Top the dish with dried shrimp. Aromatic herbs, vegetables including shredded green papaya, crunchy, juicy bean sprouts, and delicious fish sauce for dipping are also served with the dish. Lime wedges and chili pepper slices are available at the table so that diners can add sour and hot tastes to the dish at their wishes.
Are you mouth-watering while reading about Ha Tien trumpet rice noodle soup? If you have a chance to visit the beautiful Ha Tien, do not miss filling your empty stomach with a bowl of Bun ken. You will fall in love with it at your first bite.