Bún Cá Fried Fish Noodle Soup – 291 of 365

Bún Cá

What’s better than a scorching hot bowl of noodle on a mercifully cool Hanoi evening?  Well, I guess I can think of a lot of other things too, but at least at dinner time, soup fits the bill.  And just when I always think I’ve just about tapped out the entire soup rotation in the capital city, along comes another bowl of liquid right out of the blue to keep this food journey moving along.  Eating dinner with two good friends Michael and Nhung opened my eyes to a variety called bún cá or fish and noodles.

The jury’s still out on this one for me.  The broth is good.  The noodles hit the spot.  I just can’t wrap my head around fried fish whose once crispy outer coating soaks in liquid like a baby’s diaper.  For those of you back home needing an example to wrap your heads around, It would be like taking a delectably crispy chicken strip and tossing it into a bowl of soup.  The science behind this one fascinated me as I watched the batter shells engorging themselves with the broth and turning to mush.  Choi oi!

This particular evening led us to the temple area of Tay Ho with its strip of food joints selling shrimp cakes and other assorted local specialties.  Hoping to avoid a dinner of greasy disks of crunchy fried batter with whole shrimp firmly planted in the middle, I decided to try something new.  So much for trying to avoid an artery clogger, right?  This soup had contents that turned out to be just as fried.

The piece of fish hovering in my chopsticks finally made it to my mouth and just how fishy it tasted put e off.  Fish is great as long as long as it doesn’t taste too much like fish.  Yes, I know that’s subjective of course.  In my world, I draw the line at canned tuna and this was a can of that on steroids.

The nice tasting tangy broth turned even more perfect with a liberal spoon of hot chili oil.  Sweat immediately began pouring out of my skin on my brow, and that ladies and gentleman is how I know I’ve spiced things up the right way.  Noodles are noodles and quite difficult to mess up, and the pieces of tomato added a nice tart infusion.

Actually now that I think about it, perhaps this soup was the better choice after all over the fried shrimp cakes.   Since the fish chunks were so water logged and unappetizing to me, I clearly avoided eating anything fried.  My diet mission was accomplished in the end though in an unorthodox way.

Lesson learned here…water is no friend to fried foods!

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

One Comment on “Bún Cá Fried Fish Noodle Soup – 291 of 365”

  1. September 21, 2012 at 3:11 am #

    It’s “Trời ơi!” not “Chời ơi!”

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