In the various and plentiful Vietnamese cuisine, there is a kind of condiment that appear in any areas of Vietnam. It must be fermented fish. Fermented fish is the major ingredient that makes typical south-western dish, bun mam ( Vietnamese fermented fish with seafood vermicelli soup).
Bun mam is originated from Campuchia, Initially it was made from bo hoc mam. After popularized in southern areas, it was varied with “linh fish” or “sac fish” and it became Mekong delta speciality dish. The secret of bun mam recipe that bring the specific flavor is the salty, pungent broth mixed with seafood like shrimp, squid, fish…
Formerly, bun mam was a rural dish that made simply, it always served as quick meal. Fermented fish will be cooked to dissolve and get the broth, add more sugar, sliced scallion and served with vermicelli noodle. Afterwards, to make bun mam flavored, it is added more fish, shrimp, squid, roasted pork. Now, bun mam becomes one of the south-western specialist dish.
The broth of bun mam is made from coconut milk, pork broth and fermented fish. Lemongrass and garlic is often added to the broth to reduce the smell of fermented fish. The broth is cooked until fermented fish dissolved, the broth will has the umani flavor from fermented fish, coconut milk that no need season powder. The broth has the specific flavor of south-western fermented fish.
Ingredients for bun mam recipe
- 1 jar of fermented fish
- 200g fresh shrimp
- 200g squid
- 200g waterfall strabismus fish
- 200g roasted pork, bite-sized
- 01 eggplant
- 03 red chili pepper
- 50g sliced lemongrass
- 2 tsp sliced red shallot, garlic
- 50g scallion, cilantro
- 2 coconuts
- 1kg vermicelli noodle
Process of making bun mam recipe
- Wash the squid and slice in bite size, wash the shrimp then drain out
- Wash waterfall strabismus fish clearly then place in a small saucepan, add more sliced scallion, pepper, salt, 1tsp cooking oil, sliced chili pepper then mix them slightly.
- Wash eggplant clearly, don’t slice until cooking because eggplant can be turn to dark.
- To prepare water spinach, just slide the rod into shreds then put into a bow of cold water for 5-10 minutes. It makes the shreds more curly and crunchy
Put fermented fish in a saucepan, pour coconut milk that covers double the fermented. Cook on the medium heat till fermented fish dissolved. Occasionally skim off the foam . After 15 minutes turn off the heat and set aside
Add 500g pork ribs into a large saucepan . Pour water that covers the pork ribs surface, boil well that takes off the impurities from pork ribs, pour the broth away then pour water to boil the pork ribs again. This process will give the broth clear and umami. Stew for 1 hour on small heat.
- Slice eggplant into bite-sized pieces then soak in salted water for 10 minutes to avoid to be dark.
- Mince garlic, chili pepper, red shallot, lemongrass. Add all of them into a pan with cooking oil then sauté till fragrant, finally add sliced eggplant and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
- Pour fermented fish broth into the saucepan of pork ribs broth. Once the broth is boiled, add eggplant and condiments that stir-fry before into the broth. Heat the small heat to fermented fish broth absorb with ribs broth.
- Cook from 30 minutes to 1 hour then add some chopped garlic chives
- Add season powder, salt or fish sauce to fit your taste.
Prepare broth is the complex process so now the rest steps are quite simple:
- Boil the shrimp slightly then take off the shells,
- Slice squid into rings
- Slice roasted pork into bite-size.
The boiled squid broth can be used to make the bun mam broth more sweet.
Prepare vegetable platter with shredded water spinach, cilantro, bean sprout, purple basil, fish mint…
Prepare dipping sauce to dip the sea food:
- Pour 2 tsp of fish sauce into small bowl
- Add sugar, vinegar, sliced chili pepper then stir well
In a serving bowl, add a handful of vermicelli noodle, top with the cooked shrimp, squid, roasted pork then ladle the broth over. Serve with vegetable platter prepared before