Cá Mystery Fish – 327 of 365

Mystery Fish

Torrential rains kept me close to home for lunch and I made my way down a flooded side alley to Café 91 right here in Binh Thanh District.  Of course the doorway to my feeding hole was blocked as usual by motorbikes.  Why can’t people in this country park away from the entrance so that people who might wish to enter can, especially in pouring rain?  I guess that’s just one of those ancient secrets only the Vietnamese will ever be privy to.  When I become king of the world, I think I will just ticket and tow them all so I can get at my food with the greatest of ease!

With such smug satisfaction that I knew the word for fish, I ordered a caramelized clay pot version in the best of my broken Vietnamese.  Of course my pronunciation of this simple monosyllabic word, cá, crapped out miserably, and my index finger ended up doing the talking.

I didn’t know that a simple fillet of fish could be so fatty aside from the sandwich version at McDonalds.  Did you know some fish come with gelatinous chunks of super soft fat adhering to the meat?  This was news to me as I always assumed fish was somewhat healthy.  Lunch was like the ocean going version of Vietnamese chicken with bone, skin and fat all in one scary package.  You’d think I would be used to it by now that the food over here just is not going to be sanitized to my western desires.

Why Must They Block The Entrance?

After peeling off the skin in one fell swoop and then dissecting away the globs of fat, I was left with some rather good meat.  I have no idea what sort of fish that had been in a prior life nor is my curiosity all that piqued.  I’d probably see a picture of it and recoil in horror at how grotesque it looks anyhow.  Trust me…after seeing some of the species that spawn in the street market, fish over here gives me the willies.

The sauce was perfect though.  It added a nice bit of soy, fish sauce, spice and sweet to the rice and what fish I was able to eat.  I’d definitely try recreating this one at home…the sauce that is…not the fish.  OK, yes you are right.  I admit I am not the biggest seafood fan on earth but in the interest of keeping an open mind, I do try it from time to time.  Maybe one of these days mom will be right with her old adage of try it, you might like it.

Actually, I did like this one now that I think about it.  Sometimes getting past how the food looks and taking that plunge is all that is needed.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

One Comment on “Cá Mystery Fish – 327 of 365”

  1. no
    October 17, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    Just ask: Ca’ gi va^y. …. looks to me like cat fish

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