Soup cake is a traditional Vietnamese rice noodle soup which is distinguished from the others by the thick rice noodles. There are not less than 10 soup cakes recipes in Vietnam. People in each region has created soup cake recipe which meets local taste and local products. For example, in Mekong Delta they cook Soup cake with duck, Soup cake with snakehead. In provinces on the coast, they cook soup cake from seawater fishes and fish cake (Chả cá, Cha ca). Coming to the coastal Phan Thiet city, do not miss tasting the famous Soup cake with fish cake (Bánh canh chả cá, Banh canh cha ca) – a specialty food of the city. This kind of food can be easily found at street food stalls on the streets, at local markets or at restaurants.
A portion of Phan Thiet soup cake with fish cake consists of the broth, toppings (fish cake, coriander, etc), Banh canh noodles, fish sauce with chili pepper and lime juice. The broth is clear and rich, it is cooked from pork bones, mushroom, carrot (optional), daikon (optional), quail egg (optional) and especially fresh seawater fishes such as blue mackerel, four-eyed sleeper, greater amberjack, etc.
Toppings include fish cakes, chopped coriander, black pepper, chopped green onion. Fish cake is made from seawater fishes (blue mackerel, bar-tailed flathead, long pectoral-fin minnow, Saurida umeyoshii) which are ground or pounded until smooth, marinated with spices, then steamed or fried. Sweet-tasty and chewy fish cake is the most important topping to serve with Banh canh noodles. In addition, diner can ask for other toppings such as quail egg, pork leg.
To serve, they top the toppings onto the noodles, then pour the broth onto them. The broth should cover the noodles and toppings. Lime wedges, ground black pepper, fish sauce, chili pepper are available so that diner can add sourness, hotness, and saltiness to soup cake. Some people prefer to dip plain bread in the flavorful broth and eat.
A portion of Phan Thiet soup cake with fish cake can fill and warm your empty stomach. It contains the soul of the sea and has become the pride of local people thanks to its rich nutrition, comfort, and good flavor.